Twist in Delhi Water Crisis: Himachal Pradesh Denies Surplus Water Availability

GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 13th June. 
A dramatic turn has emerged in the Supreme Court’s intervention regarding Delhi’s acute water shortage, with Himachal Pradesh asserting it lacks surplus water to supply to the national capital. This revelation comes just a day after the hill state initially indicated it had released water for Delhi, which needed to pass through Haryana.

The Supreme Court had directed Himachal Pradesh to release 137 cusecs of surplus water to Delhi, emphasizing the severity of the capital’s drinking water crisis. Himachal Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu initially affirmed the release of water, but today, the state’s counsel informed the court that the water in question was already accounted for in irrigation and natural river flow.

“We could not convey it properly earlier. Our correct statement may come on record. Maybe we made a mistake earlier, but I have been briefed. I will correct and withdraw the earlier statement that flow was obstructed,” the counsel stated, prompting a stern warning from the court about potential contempt charges.

In response, the court has tasked the Upper Yamuna River Board with resolving the issue, previously highlighting discrepancies in Himachal’s claims about water release. The board referenced correspondence indicating that Himachal Pradesh maintained its water allocation was already flowing to Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage, disputing additional release following the court’s directive.

Meanwhile, Delhi continues to grapple with severe water scarcity exacerbated by a heatwave, with reports of illegal tanker operations aggravating the crisis. The Supreme Court has also scrutinized the Delhi government’s response, questioning its efforts to combat water wastage and curb the influence of the tanker mafia.

Amid these developments, Delhi’s Water Minister Atishi has alleged administrative complicity in reducing water tanker numbers, which she claims has benefitted the tanker mafia. She has urged an investigation into these allegations, showing the contentious nature of the ongoing water distribution dispute between Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana.

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