Ensure Delhi gets its entitled extra raw water from Haryana in the Munak Canal.


By Rashmi Singh

The AAP manifesto stated -“AAP will ensure the firm implementation of the High Court order that says Delhi is entitled to extra raw water from Haryana in the Munak canal, an issue on which the BJP government in Haryana and at the Centre have been dithering.”

In November 2014 the Delhi High Court had directed Haryana to release the water being sent to Delhi into the cement-lined Munak canal instead of the kachcha canal that was being used till then to prevent loss of water due to seepage. Haryana is required to  release 719 cusecs of water per day into Munak canal and 330 cusecs per day in Delhi Sub Branch Canal (DSBC). This is of particular importance against the context of high water shortages faced by Delhi, especially during the summers. The State of Haryana had told the Supreme Court that it will abide by the Delhi High Court order. However the matter remained unsettled as the status of compliance by Haryana with the court directives was disputed by the two states involved. The Delhi government blamed Haryana for not releasing water as per Delhi’s share of supply. Haryana maintained that they are supplying water as much as 1049 cusec against the sanctioned 719 cusec.

In May 2018, the Delhi CM wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on the matter, saying that the city had been receiving 1,133 cusecs of water from Haryana since 1996, but recently, for the first time in 22 years, the neighbouring state has contested Delhi’s right over this water and partially stopped the supply to the Capital. The Haryana government was pulled up by the High Court repeatedly for delaying repair works and not releasing the entire quantity of water required as per the undertaking given to the court. In April of 2019 the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) urged the High Court that the Centre be asked to supervise water supply from Haryana to the national capital, but then in May in a peculiar move, citing pressure from Haryana, it approached the court wanting to withdraw its plea. As per DJB, since the further supply and release of water to the capital had been linked by Haryana to the withdrawal of Delhi’s plea, they did not want to risk the supply of drinking water to the city. This led to the court constituting a monitoring committee, which was asked to submit its report to the court. The court expressed its displeasure to Haryana for not following its order and said that “our interest lies in only making water available to the common man”. 

The matter seems stalled as of now, as in July, 2019 following the submission of the report by the monitoring committee, the Haryana government claimed that the Delhi HC had no jurisdiction over this matter and it also refused to accept the findings of the report. It opposed the attempt by the Delhi government to settle this matter through the Delhi HC. It contended that the Upper River Yamuna Board (URYB) is the appropriate body to decide the water sharing dispute between the two states and has urged the High Court to decide the jurisdiction issue on “priority” basis. As the matter is in litigation the status of this promise is classified as ‘stalled’. 

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