SC summons chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana

NEW DELHI, Apr 19:

The Supreme Court today directed the chief secretaries of Haryana and Delhi to appear before it on Monday after the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) said it was not receiving enough water to supply to the national capital.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur took a strong note of the apathy shown by authorities in dealing with the water woes of the residents of the national capital.
“People are dying. But no urgency is being shown by you people,” the court said, directing senior officials of the two state governments to appear before it in person on April 23.
The Delhi government had informed the apex court it was in talks with Haryana for the release of 450 cusec of water of the Yamuna river daily for the national capital.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the DJB alleging that Haryana had reduced by one-third the supply of Yamuna water to the national capital, leading to a grave water crisis.
The DJB has contended in its plea that Haryana was supplying Delhi only 330 cusec of water daily as against 450 cusec per day, which was agreed upon between the state and the Union Territory.
It has claimed that while the population of Delhi has increased phenomenally over the years, there has not been a commensurate rise in the water supply.
The DJB has said that due to the present curtailment in water supply to the Wazirabad reservoir, the plant is running at reduced capacity leading to “grave water crisis” in the city.
It had said the situation would “escalate” with the onset of summer and as the demand for drinking water shoots up.
It has sought directions from the apex court to the Haryana government to supply the full 450 cusec of water per day continuously and daily to the Wazirabad reservoir.
The Delhi High Court had recently told the Haryana government it has to stick to its 2014 direction specifying the amount of water to be released to Delhi every day. (PTI)