Approach Yamuna board for addl water, SC tells Delhi Govt : The Tribune India

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Approach Yamuna board for addl water, SC tells Delhi Govt

Approach Yamuna board for addl water, SC tells Delhi Govt

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, June 13

The Supreme Court today asked the Delhi Government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) for an additional 150 cusecs of water to deal with the peak summer water crisis saying it didn’t have the expertise to decide the “complex and sensitive issue”.

“The issue should be left to be considered by the UYRB, a body constituted with the agreement of parties in the MoU dated May 12, 1994,” a Vacation Bench led by Justice PK Mishra said.

Submit application to UYRB

Since the UYRB has already directed the State of Delhi to submit an application for supply of additional 150 cusec of water on humanitarian grounds, let such application be made, if not already made, by 5 pm today and, thereafter, the UYRB shall convene a meeting tomorrow, and take a decision. —Supreme Court

“Since the UYRB has already directed the State of Delhi to submit an application for supply of additional 150 cusec of water on humanitarian grounds, let such application be made, if not already made, by 5 pm today and, thereafter, the UYRB shall convene a meeting tomorrow, and take a decision in the matter at the earliest,” it ordered.

“Interestingly, the State of Haryana as well as learned ASG (Vikramjit Banerjee for UYRB) has also submitted that the issue can be resolved by the UYRB and not by this court which does not have necessary expertise in the matter,” it noted.

Senior counsel AM Singhvi and advocate Shadan Farasat urged the Bench to set up a panel to examine the issue, but it didn’t accede to the demand. “Having heard learned counsel for the parties at length, today and on previous dates, we are also of the view that the issue concerning sharing of Yamuna water between the States who are signatories of the MoU dated May 12, 1994, is complex issue and this court does not have the expertise to decide, even on interim basis, which may violate or tinker the MoU settled between the parties,” the Bench said.

The order came after the Himachal Government said it had no surplus water left for Delhi as it had already been released. The top court warned Himachal of contempt of court action for misleading it as it was on the basis of their statement that it had passed an order on releasing surplus 137 cusecs of water available with it.

On behalf of the Haryana Government, senior advocate Shyam Divan and Senior Additional Advocate General Lokesh Sinhal pointed out Haryana itself was facing water crisis and the June 5 UYRB meeting also noted that Haryana did not have surplus water. They said water level at Wazirabad was maintained all throughout vis-à-vis release of 1,050 cusecs of water from Munak Head and delivery of agreed quantity of water by Haryana to Delhi.

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