L-G advises Delhi Government to stop blame game, plug leakages instead : The Tribune India

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L-G advises Delhi Government to stop blame game, plug leakages instead

Meets ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj, shares photos of water pilferage

L-G advises Delhi Government to stop blame game, plug leakages instead

AAP workers protest outside Haryana Bhawan in New Delhi on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 10

Delhi Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena advised Delhi ministers, Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj to refrain from engaging in a blame game and instead collaborate amicably with neighbouring states to address the prevailing water crisis in the National Capital. This advice came during a meeting attended by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and CEO of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Andarasu.

AAP workers hold protests

  • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday protested against the Haryana Government over the allegations of depriving the national capital of its share of Yamuna water.
  • AAP Delhi state vice-president and MLA Kuldeep Kumar along with other party MLAs and workers protested at the BJP headquarters, Haryana Bhawan, Mandi House and Connaught Place.

Bharadwaj: L-G office misrepresenting facts

  • Delhi Cabinet Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Monday criticised the office of the Lieutenant-Governor for issuing a misleading statement regarding the recent meeting about Delhi’s worsening water crisis.
  • According to Bharadwaj, the LG’s office had distorted the facts of the meeting in their press release. “The press release issued from the office of the L-G misrepresents the facts of the conversation held in the meeting,” Bharadwaj said.
  • Bharadwaj revealed that the entire meeting was recorded by three cameras installed by the L-G’s office. He called for these recordings to be made public. “I say with full conviction that the L-G will not release that video at any cost,” he stated.
  • The minister recounted how he and Atishi were initially barred from bringing their phones into the meeting.

Atishi had previously written to Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini regarding the reduced water supply from the Munak Canal, a crucial source of water for Delhi, which supplies water to seven out of the nine Water Treatment Plants (WTPs). Saxena emphasised, “Even if Haryana were to give additional water above its allocated share, Delhi did not have enough WTPs and capacity to treat the water and supply to the people of Delhi.”

A team comprising Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) officials, and senior officials from the Delhi and Haryana governments, had inspected the water supply at the Munak Canal’s head in Delhi on June 9. Raj Niwas officials corroborated the same saying, “The team had found the water supply from Haryana to be sufficient.”

The inspection revealed that on June 9, Haryana released 2,289 cusecs of water at Munak, with 1,161.084 cusecs allocated for Delhi against a quota of 1,050 cusecs. However, Delhi received only 960.78 cusecs at Bawana, indicating a loss of 200 cusecs, or 18 per cent, which exceeds the acceptable norm of less than five per cent.

The UYRB had highlighted this issue in a meeting on June 5, stating, “Urgent action is needed for the Delhi sub-branch to bring down water losses which is currently around 25 pc against the expected 5 pc.”

Raj Niwas officials attributed the water loss to non-maintenance of the Munak Canal within Delhi, citing leakages and unauthorised water theft by tankers. L-G shared photographs with the ministers showing tankers illegally lifting water from the canal.“In May, the average water received at Munak was 948 cusecs, and for June, it was 870 MGD. However, it remains unclear whether Himachal Pradesh has been releasing the additional 137 cusecs into the Yamuna,” Raj Niwas officials said.

Saxena urged the ministers to “take up the matter with the Government of Himachal Pradesh.”

Between June 1 and 8, all but one of Delhi’s WTPs operated beyond their capacity. On June 8, they collectively produced 854 MGD of water against a capacity of 821 MGD. The Wazirabad WTP, the only plant operating below capacity, produced 119.5 MGD against a capacity of 131 MGD due to the pondage area behind the Wazirabad barrage shrinking by 90 per cent from 4.26 meters to 0.42 meters, largely because of a decade of non-desiltation.

The meeting also addressed delays in commissioning the Chandrawal and Dwarka WTPs. While the Chandrawal WTP was delayed due to COVID-19, the Dwarka WTP, initially scheduled for commissioning within 18 months, faced delays due to funding shortages.

The L-G flagged the issue of 54 per cent unaccounted water and 40 per cent leakage in Delhi caused by theft and unrepaired pipelines. It was agreed that the DJB would prepare a concrete action plan to address these issues.

“Saxena assured that he will take up the matter of supply with the Government of Haryana and request them to give extra water on human grounds,” said an official. He also assured to address staffing issues at the DJB and the additional burden on its CEO.

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#VK Saxena


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