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April 18, 2013

CM asks for greater share of water

New Delhi: As the temperature rises, the threat of water supply cuts looms over many areas. Chief minister Sheila Dikshit made a pitch for more water from Haryana at the Prime Minister’s Office. With barely six months to go for the assembly polls and water seen as a rallying point for masses, the CM is certainly taking no chances. 
    The dispute over water sharing between Delhi and Haryana is not new. It peaks every summer and last year too it took the intervention of the Centre to break the impasse. This time it is learnt that the 
Delhi CM made a case for more water from Haryana, citing the investment madein theMunak canal to seal seepage points. The Delhi Jal Board which has the CM as chairperson, has invested in the lining work of the canaltocontain thelossesfrom seepage. Delhi has spent Rs 414 crore on the project, which costs Rs 520 crore. 
    An assessment by DJB shows that the lining work has brought losses down from 30% to 5%. The state government now wants Haryana to release morewater toDelhi as a “share in savings”. The existing carrier between Delhi and Haryana is old and water is lost through leakages and evaporation. The 
new lined carrier, better known as the Munak canal, was plannedto reducelosses.A saving of 80 million gallons per day was expected, which Delhi asked for. 
    “Haryana will continue to releasethesame amountof water it is doing at present. We only want the en route savings as our share, especially since we
have spent so much money on it,” said a DJB official. 
    A GoM headed by then home minister P Chidambaram was also set up to look into the issue but no solution came forth. Delhi has approached every agency from the Upper Yamuna Rover Board to the Central Water Commission to the PM. In 2012, matters came to a head and chief ministers of both Delhi and Haryana met at the PMO to sort out their dispute. Haryana maintains that it is releasing more than the share of water agreed upon and there is no question of it giving any more to the capital. Haryana’ssideof thecanalhas been completed and is in use.

Source: TOI (18 Apr 2013)

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