SC asks Haryana, Punjab to maintain status quo in water supply to Delhi till April 6

Delhi Jal Board has alleged that Haryana will cut 20% of its water supply to Delhi due to canal repair work

March 26, 2021 04:49 pm | Updated March 27, 2021 01:10 am IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered Haryana and Punjab and the Bhakra Beas Management Board to maintain status quo in the supply of water to Delhi till April 6.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde had on Thursday ordered a 24-hour status quo on a plea filed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) alleging that Haryana would cut 20% of its water supply to Delhi due to repair work in one of its canals. On Friday, the court extended the status quo order till April 6. It said the petition would be taken up on April 6.

Appearing for the Board, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and advocate Gautam Narayan, had urged the court to order Haryana to postpone the work. The DJB had said that any substantial reduction in the water supply in the peak of summer would affect the National Capital badly.

Mr. Singhvi had said both the ‘aam aadmi Delhi’ and the ‘Lutyens Delhi’ would be equally starved of water if supply was cut. He said the court could even appoint a Court Commissioner to conduct a field inspection of the “repair work”. Mr. Singhvi said the DJB was not against the conduct of the repair work, but was only saying that it should be done in the monsoon or in autumn and not in summer.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh said the water level had come down by six feet.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, for Haryana, continued to deny the Board’s allegations.

“The full and complete supply is being given to Delhi ... not a drop less. A series of wrong statements are being made. Levels are being maintained,” Mr. Divan said and objected vehemently in the previous hearing held on Thursday.

Chief Justice Bobde reinforced the court’s view that the issue was serious as it concerned access to clean water, a fundamental right.

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