Delhi: L-G dials Saini after meeting AAP leaders

Updated - June 25, 2024 10:47 am IST

Published - June 24, 2024 01:32 am IST - New Delhi

 Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena on Sunday spoke to Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini over the release of the Yamuna water to the Capital after a 10-member delegation of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) met him here, according to a Raj Niwas statement.

  “The Haryana CM has assured that he would seriously look into the matter and try to help tide over the situation to the farthest possible extent,” the L-G said in the statement, adding that he made the request on humanitarian grounds.

The development came a day after Mr. Saxena squarely pinned the blame for the ongoing water shortage in the Capital on the AAP government, saying that Delhi is “witnessing a travesty of governance with political leaders turning a crisis into an opportunity to gain political mileage”.

Also read | Delhi water crisis: AAP’s Atishi hospitalised after health worsens during hunger strike

  Delhi Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had rebutted the L-G’s allegations, saying he has been “turning a blind eye” to the hard facts of failing water supply by BJP-ruled Haryana and acting as “as the L-G of the BJP”.

The L-G said the AAP delegation primarily requested him to urge the Haryana Government for “extra water” for a few days till the monsoon arrives.

The L-G added that asking for water on humanitarian grounds could be fructified only in an atmosphere of cooperation and amicable dialogue, rather than by indulging into accusations, abuse and blame game through media and social media.

Mr. Saxena said during the meeting with AAP leaders, he reiterated that the sharing of the Yamuna water among Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other neighbouring States had been fixed by the Upper Yamuna River Board and was up for renewal in 2025.

Earlier, Mr. Bharadwaj said they told Mr. Saxena that the stark increase in Delhi’s population to about three crore from 1.1 crore, when the water sharing agreement was signed with Haryana in 1994.

According to the 1994 agreement, 613 million gallons per day (MGD) of the Yamuna water is supplied to the Capital by Haryana.

  Mr. Bharadwaj said they told the L-G that Haryana is releasing over 100 MGD of less water for the Capital. “Due to this, lakhs of people in Delhi are facing water shortage. Since the L-G is the representative of the Central government, we requested him to talk to the Haryana government and get Delhi its full share of water,” he said.

  He said the AAP leaders told the L-G that Haryana is likely to receive rain in a week and won’t be able to stop water even if it wants to. “It is just a matter of a week. We have requested the L-G to get water from Haryana for Delhi for a week,” Mr. Bharadwaj said.  AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, who was part of the delegation, also said they told the L-G that Delhi is getting the same amount of water today as was allocated for it in 1994.

“In the past 30 years, Delhi’s population has increased threefold. We told him that ₹500 crore was spent on eliminating the leakages in the Munak canal. A network of 12,000 km of water pipelines were laid in Delhi. The Delhi government has made a lot of efforts at its level,” he said.

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