SC notice to Centre, UP over water for city

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on a plea seeking a direction, among others, to maintain a minimum flow of water in Yamuna and Ganga rivers in order to ensure adequate drinking water to residents in Delhi.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam also issued notice to Attorney General and Uttarakhand on an application filed by PIL petitioner Commander Sureshwar D Sinha, who wanted specific order also to expedite commissioning of water treatment plants here.

“It is a matter of grave concern that despite directions by the apex court from time to time, the Delhi residents are being deprived of sufficient clean water for the purposes of drinking. Since Delhi is the capital of the country, it tends to absorb migrants from all states. It is high time that the neighbouring states join hands in this endeavour,” Advocate Simar Suri, appearing for the petitioner, said.

The Delhi Jal Board has failed to provide water, even to the residents of regularised planned colonies such as Dwarka and the situation was even more deplorable in unplanned and unregulated areas, she contended.

Referring to June 2013 Uttarakhand disaster, she urged the court to give directions for the constitution of a high-powered technical committee for making a critical assessment of existing as well as proposed hydro-projects in the Himalayas and to suggest measures to prevent future disasters.

“The Munak Link Canal and the water treatment plants at Okhla, Bawana and Dwarka must be commissioned at the earliest,” the petitioner said.

It is also important that the minimum flow of 352 cusecs is maintained in the Yamuna, as ordered by this Court on August 17, 1999,” the petitioner added.
She wanted the court also to issue order to riparian states to ensure availability of minimum flow of 352 cusecs/ 10 cumecs throughout Yamuna and at least 1400 cusecs in river Ganga in its stretch from Farukkhabad and Kanpur for maintaining river ecology.

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