Will not disrupt Yamuna water supply to Delhi, Haryana tells SC

New Delhi, May 11 : The Haryana government on Friday assured the Supreme Court that it will not disrupt the supply of Yamuna river water to Delhi till the court decides on water-sharing dispute between the two.

A bench of Justice Madan B.

Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) to apprise it of a decision/suggestion on Delhi's water requirement and file a report by Monday.

The court also slammed the board, saying the problems regarding sharing of water between states must be first taken care of by bodies like the UYRB and not the Supreme Court.

"Is not there one Upper Yamuna River Board or something? What are they doing? Why don't they want to do their job.

If they do not want to do their job, why should we do their job?" Justice Lokur asked.

The Centre set up the the board primarily to regulate allocation of available water among five beneficiary basin states and also for monitoring the return flow.

The apex corut posted the matter for May 16.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) against a daily shortfall of 120 cusecs of water from the Yamuna.

The DJB had sought instructions to Haryana to supply 450 cusecs of potable water daily to Delhi, as agreed between the two states.

Haryana was supplying to Delhi only 330 cusecs of water daily as against 450 cusec per day, the DJB petition said.

During the hearing, the Haryana government told the court that it has not reduced water supply to Delhi even though availability of the Yamuna water at Tajewala was down to about 56 per cent of the normal expected quantity during the first four months of 2018.

"On an average, 2,289 cusecs of water was received at Tajewala from January 1 to April 30, as against 4,081 cusecs estimated by the UYRB for the purpose of making tentative distribution," said Haryana's affidavit.

But the DJB now wants additional supplies of about 120 cusecs, which is totally unjustified, it added.

The state had earlier told the bench that it was receiving only 50 per cent water from the Hathni barrage and there is a "huge distress" of water level in Haryana.

With Delhi facing water shortage, the DJB had moved the Supreme Court for directions to Haryana to release adequate water to the Wazirabad reservoir, alleging that Yamuna water supply had been reduced by one third.

"Delhi is in the midst of an acute water crisis owing to stop in supply of water by Haryana into the Yamuna, which is meant for drinking purposes in Delhi," the DJB plea said.

The DJB's water treatment plants have been functioning below capacities over the past few weeks due to a drop in Yamuna water level and release of polluted water from Haryana that could not be treated, it added.

Yamuna water sharing between Delhi and Haryana has been a contentious issue for decades and the apex court had ordered Haryana to release 450 cusecs of water daily to Delhi in February 1996.



Source: IANS