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Supreme Court directs Himachal to release surplus water to alleviate Delhi water shortage

Supreme Court directs Himachal to release surplus water to alleviate Delhi water shortage

In a bid to tackle Delhi's severe water crisis, the Supreme Court has ordered Himachal Pradesh to release 137 cusecs of surplus water. This decision comes in response to Delhi's appeal for additional water supplies from neighbouring states.

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SC Orders Himachal to Release Water to Aid Delhi's Crisis SC Orders Himachal to Release Water to Aid Delhi's Crisis

The Supreme Court has instructed the Himachal Pradesh government to release 137 cusecs of surplus water on Friday to help Delhi cope with its severe water shortage. The apex court also cautioned the Delhi government against water wastage amid the crisis.

 

The court's directive follows an agreement from the Himachal Pradesh government to release the surplus water. Additionally, the Haryana government has been ordered to facilitate the water's passage through the Wazirabad barrage. Himachal Pradesh is required to notify Haryana prior to releasing the water.

 

This decision comes after the Delhi government appealed to the Supreme Court last week for additional water supplies from neighboring states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh. The national capital is currently grappling with an acute water shortage exacerbated by scorching heat and a decreased water level in the Yamuna River.

 

In response to the crisis, the AAP-led Delhi government has implemented strict measures to prevent water wastage, including a ₹2,000 fine for those found wasting water and directives to disconnect illegal water connections at construction sites and commercial establishments.

 

Delhi Water Minister Atishi highlighted that the heatwave has significantly increased water demand, while the water level at the Wazirabad pond has dropped from 674.5 ft last year to only 671 ft this year, despite multiple requests for more water.

 

The Supreme Court also mandated an urgent meeting of the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) to address the water scarcity. On May 30, the Delhi government established a central control room under an IAS officer to manage the crisis. Additionally, a helpline number, '1916', was announced for residents to request water tankers.

 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who returned to Tihar Jail on June 2, appealed to the BJP to negotiate with its governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to secure additional water for Delhi. He emphasized that while the heatwave is beyond control, collaborative efforts could provide much-needed relief to the residents of Delhi.

Edited By: Krishna Medhi
Published On: Jun 06, 2024