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Friday, July 19, 2024

India: Delhi government goes to Supreme Court over water crisis amid heatwave

In its plea filed in the Supreme Court, the Delhi government has requested the release of more water from other states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh for a month to tide over the water shortage.

In Short

  • Delhi government requests more additional water supply in UP, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh
  • This come as the national capital battles a water crisis amid searing heatwave
  • Delhi government has announced slew of measures to tackle water shortage

The AAP government in Delhi has approached the Supreme Court over the water crisis amid searing heatwave conditions in the national capital.

The Delhi government, in its plea, told the Supreme Court that the water demand in the city has risen significantly due to heatwave conditions, and urged other states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, to release extra water for a month.

For the past few days, Delhi has been witnessing searing heatwave conditions, with maximum temperatures hovering around the 50 degree-Celsius mark in parts of the city. The Delhi government has announced a slew of emergency measures, including a ban on the usage of potable water for car washing and its use at construction sites.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) announced that a fine of Rs 2,000 would be slapped on anyone found wasting water.

Water Minister Atishi announced that a war room had been set up in the DJB for water tanker supply and accused Haryana of not releasing Delhi’s share of water. She said that those who require a water tanker in their area can dial 1916 for assistance.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the BJP leaders to keep their political differences aside and work together to tackle the water crisis in the national capital.

“In this scorching heat, the demand for water has increased a lot. The water that Delhi used to get from the neighbouring states has also been reduced. That means the demand has increased a lot and the supply has been reduced. We all have to solve this together. I see that BJP colleagues are protesting against us. This will not solve the problem,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi on Friday.

“I request everyone with folded hands that instead of doing politics at this time, let us come together and provide relief to the people of Delhi. If BJP talks to its governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and gets some water for Delhi for a month, then the people of Delhi will greatly appreciate this step of the BJP’s,” he said.

The extreme summer heat in Delhi has also pushed its peak power demand to an all-time high of 8,302 MW on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. It is the first time in the history of the national capital that its power demand has crossed the 8,300-MW mark.

Power distribution companies had estimated the power demand to peak at 8,200 MW this summer, discom officials said.

Speaking about the power cuts in neighbouring states, Kejriwal said, “This time, the entire country is experiencing unprecedented heatwave due to which there is a crisis of water and electricity across the country. Last year, the peak demand for electricity in Delhi was 7,438 MW. In comparison, the peak demand this year has reached 8,302 MW.”

“But despite this, the power situation in Delhi is under control, there are no power cuts like in other states,” he added.

Several residents of Noida and Ghaziabad have been braving the heatwave along with hours-long power cuts. The frequent power outages have prompted locals to take to the streets in protest. There have also been reports of power houses being gheraoed.

(with inputs from PTI)

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