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Release 137 cusecs surplus water to ease Delhi's water crisis: Supreme Court to Himachal Pradesh

The court also directed the Upper Yamuna River Board to measure the additional supply at Hathini Kund in Haryana for supply to Delhi.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 06 June 2024, 06:55 IST
Last Updated : 06 June 2024, 06:55 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Himachal Pradesh government to release 137 cusecs surplus water available with it on Friday for drinking water requirement in Delhi in view of acute crisis and prevailing heatwave conditions .

A bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and K V Vishwanathan said, "There should be no politics over water."

The bench also said that Delhi is undergoing a serious water crisis and this is an existential problem.

The court also directed the Upper Yamuna River Board to measure the additional supply at Hathini Kund in Haryana for supply to Delhi.

"Since Himachal Pradesh is ready and willing to supply the surplus water, we direct the state to release 137 cusecs additional water from upstream so that it reaches Wazirabad. As and when the surplus water is released by Himachal Pradesh, Haryana shall facilitate flow of surplus water through Hathini kund so that it is made available to Delhi for drinking water," the bench said.

"We are conscious of the fact in view of acute crisis, there should not be wastage of water," the bench added.

The court passed its order on a writ petition filed by Delhi government.

The bench had earlier ordered for holding of a meeting by the Board of all the stakeholders states on June 5.

During the hearing, Haryana government counsel contended there was no record of availability of surplus water in Himachal Pradesh. He also submitted that there was no mechanism to measure supply of additional surplus water from Hathini Kund barrage.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, submitted the water is required as an emergent, and one time measure. He said, "If Himachal Pradesh is showing grace and humility and saying it can release water, we don't understand the cussedness, it is the most unfortunate. Haryana obstructed everything."

"We don't know who is doing politics...but tomorrow, there should be no complaint that Himachal Pradesh is giving but Haryana is not releasing water," the bench said.

The court directed Haryana to give passage to the water through the canals.

The court relied upon the minutes of the meeting of the Board, which it said, clearly revealed that the member States have not contradicted or disputed there is extraordinary heatwave prevailing in Delhi.

"Although it records Haryana is also facing similar condition, but there is no material to show it faced similar crisis as that of Delhi," the bench said.

The temperatures in Delhi recently almost touched 50 degrees Celsius and people are unable to get any relief so far, as the South West monsoon is not likely to hit Delhi before June 20-25.

According to reports, many areas in Delhi including Chanakyapuri's Sanjay Camp, Geeta colony in East Delhi, Patel Nagar, various North and South Delhi parts, Mehrauli and Chhatarpur and others faced acute water shortages. 

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Published 06 June 2024, 06:55 IST

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