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Water crisis deepens in Delhi as levels plummet at Wazirabad

Atishi seeks Haryana’s cooperation, BJP calls it dirty tactics

Water crisis deepens in Delhi as levels plummet at Wazirabad

Water Minister Atishi at the Wazirabad Barrage in New Delhi on Monday. PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17

Amid the deepening water crisis in the Capital, Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Monday raised the alarm over the significant drop in water levels at the Wazirabad Barrage, attributing the shortage to reduced water release from Haryana.

During an inspection of the Wazirabad Barrage and water treatment plant, Atishi highlighted the alarming statistics: “On June 17, 2023, the water level at Wazirabad was 974.5 ft, but it plummeted to just 668.3 ft on June 17, 2024. This dramatic drop is primarily due to Haryana releasing insufficient water into the Yamuna.”

Atishi explained that the shortage is impacting the operations of Delhi’s water treatment plants. “The reduced flow from Haryana has severely disrupted the supply, with the Munk canal also showing decreased levels compared to last year. This has created significant operational challenges for our water treatment facilities,” she said.

Atishi also conducted a thorough inspection of the Wazirabad Barrage area, noting that the water levels have dropped by over 6 feet. “The water scarcity has caused the production at Wazirabad water treatment plant to drop by 48 MGD, impacting the overall water supply in Delhi,” she said.

She appealed to the Haryana Government to release adequate water into the Yamuna to mitigate the crisis. “In this severe heat, Delhiites are suffering due to the lack of water. We urge the Haryana Government to release sufficient water to help us manage this critical situation,” Atishi added.

She also pointed out that the lack of flow meters at the Hathini Kund Barrage in Haryana makes it difficult to measure the water being released to Delhi accurately. “Without proper measurement, it’s challenging to ensure that Delhi is receiving the agreed amount of water from Haryana,” Atishi said.

In response, Delhi BJP secretary Harish Khurana and spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor accused Atishi of playing dirty tricks and misleading the public.

The BJP leaders alleged that the Wazirabad water treatment plant’s pond and barrage have not been cleaned for over a decade, resulting in significant silt accumulation. “At present, 90 per cent of the depth is filled with silt. Therefore, the barrage area cannot hold water,” they explained.

They also questioned the narrative of water shortage presented by Atishi. “Today, Atishi went to Wazirabad Barrage and tried to portray that there is a shortage of water in the outer area of the barrage. The people of Delhi are well aware that the water visibility at Wazirabad is low because the barrage and its pond have lost depth,” they said.

The BJP leaders demanded that the AAP government focus on cleaning and maintaining the existing water infrastructure rather than blaming Haryana.

Cops step up vigilance to safeguard pipelines

Delhi Police officials on Monday intensified their efforts to safeguard crucial water pipelines. Inspections were conducted in the Hazrat Nizamuddin area of South East Delhi, focusing on ensuring the integrity and security of Delhi Jal Board pipelines. Sub-Inspector ML Meena from Hazrat Nizamuddin Police Station assured, “We maintain thorough surveillance over the Jal Board water pipeline in this area. Our priority is to prevent any instances of leakage or damage.” This proactive measure follows a formal request by Water Minister Atishi to Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora, urging for heightened police presence to protect major pipelines from potential sabotage and theft. tns

Cong chief writes to L-G

Devender Yadav, president, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, has penned a letter to Lt Governor VK Saxena demanding immediate action against those accountable for the severe water crisis gripping the Capital. Yadav’s missive highlights rampant water theft and leakage from Delhi Jal Board pipelines as primary causes exacerbating the situation.

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