Delhi water crisis: Himachal Pradesh tells court it doesn't have surplus water

The Supreme Court directed the Delhi government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board for water supply after Himachal Pradesh stated it doesn't have surplus water.
Delhi water crisis: Himachal Pradesh tells court it doesn't have surplus water
Jaano Junction

Amid the ongoing water crisis, the Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday withdrew its earlier statement and told the Supreme Court that it does not have a surplus of 136 cusecs of water.

The court then directed the Delhi government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) for water supply.

The development came while the Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi government seeking a direction to Haryana to release the surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to the national capital to mitigate its water crisis.

A vacation bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Prasanna B Varale asked the Delhi government to submit an application to the UYRB by 5 pm seeking a supply of water to the national capital on humanitarian grounds.

The bench said that sharing of Yamuna water between states is a complex and sensitive issue and this court does not have the technical expertise to decide on it even on an interim basis.

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Delhi water crisis: Himachal Pradesh tells court it doesn't have surplus water

"The issue should be left to be considered by the body constituted with the agreement of parties in the memorandum of understanding dated 1994," the bench said.

"Since the UYRB has already directed Delhi to submit an application for the supply of water on humanitarian grounds, such an application be made, if not already made, by today by 5 pm, and the board shall convene a meeting tomorrow and take decision in the matter at the earliest," it said.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, the UYRB referred to a letter sent to Haryana by Himachal Pradesh in which the hill state had said its share of unutilised water was already flowing uninterruptedly to the Hathnikund barrage and that Haryana should release it to Delhi.

"As per the above letter, the 137 cusec of unutilised water is already flowing un-interruptedly from the territory of Himachal Pradesh to Tajewala (in Haryana). It therefore emerges that Himachal Pradesh is not releasing any additional water subsequent to the order of the Supreme Court dated 06.06.2024 which could be measured by Upper Yamuna River Board."

"Himachal Pradesh does not have any storage from where it can release the additional water amounting to 137 cusecs in pursuance to Supreme Court order and therefore, excess water released by Himachal Pradesh for Delhi can only be ascertained using two methodologies which have also been mentioned by Haryana," the affidavit, filed through advocate Brajesh Kumar, stated.

Earlier today, the Delhi government, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court on the present water crisis in the national capital, said the water tanker mafia was entering Delhi from the Haryana side.

The Aam Aadmi Party also said it was unable to take action against the water mafia due to jurisdiction issues. However, it said it was making all efforts to control water leakages.

The national capital has been grappling with a water crisis, with the Delhi government accusing Haryana of not releasing its share of water.

Source: India Today

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