Release Somb water to abate crisis: Delhi to Haryana

Release Somb water to abate crisis: Delhi to Haryana

In the grip of an acute water shortage and with temperatures reaching 43.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has written to Haryana, asking it to release water from Somb river, a tributary of the Yamuna.The water utility has also taken up the matter with the Upper Yamuna River Board.

The communication from the DJB to the Haryana Irrigation department stated that a team of DJB officials visited the Dadupur barrage where Somb river empties into the Yamuna. “It was observed that whole of the Somb river has been stopped even though Somb river was full of water. Somb is a tributary of the Yamuna and it helps in maintaining the flow. It is requested to release the Somb river water into Yamuna so that the river’s flow is maintained This will help in maintaining the shortfall of raw water of Delhi,” the communique said.

“It is also requested to release sufficient water in DSB (330 cusecs) and CLC (683 cusecs) and Yamuna for a pond level of 674.50ft at Wazirabad,” it said.

The Wazirabad pond area from where Delhi draws water from the Yamuna is now almost dry with the water level reaching a low of six inches.
The Wazirabad pond area from where Delhi draws water from the Yamuna is now almost dry with the water level reaching a low of six inches.

The Wazirabad pond area from where Delhi draws water from the Yamuna is now almost dry with the water level reaching a low of six inches. This has prompted brutal water shortages in large parts of the Capital, with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asking Haryana to release additional water “on humanitarian grounds”.

Over the past one month, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has consistently maintained that his state is releasing sufficient water to Delhi, in accordance with the water sharing agreements.

Haryana does not have extra water: Khattar

Khattar on Saturday reiterated that Haryana is supplying water to Delhi has per its already fixed quota and if Delhi decides to use its share elsewhere, then there was no solution to the problem. “Haryana fills up the Haiderpur barrage and other barrages on time. Even Haryana does not have surplus water,” he said.

Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman and Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “We request the Haryana CM to help Delhi in these times of a crisis.”

Water supply levels continued to remain critical in the city on Saturday with a supply shortfall of around 100MGD (million gallons daily) since Friday. The DJB said the condition failed to improve as there was no raw water supply from Haryana.

Delhi receives water from Haryana through the Yamuna river channel, DSB canal and Munak canal. The DJB said DSB and Munak canals are getting an excess of floating material and algae along with raw water, adding to the challenges of Delhi’s water treatment plants.

“Since there is little water available at Wazirabad, we are carrying out maximum possible diversion of raw water from CLC towards Wazirabad to rationalise the shortfall,” a senior DJB official said, asking not to be named.

DJB Board operates nine water treatment plants with a combined capacity to supply 861MGD, while 137MGD is sourced from sub-surface wells.

The shortage has impacted operations at seven of nine plants fed by the Yamuna, the Munak and DSB canals. These include Chandrawal, Wazirabad, Okhla, Wazirabad, Haiderpur, Nangloi, Dwarka and Bawana facilities.

Only the Bhagirathi and Sonia Vihar plants in east Delhi, which source water from the Upper Ganga Canal, have normal supply, DJB said.

So far, the areas bearing the brunt of the shortage are Karol Bagh, Kamala Nagar, Paharganj, NDMC areas, Rajinder Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Kalkaji, Model Town, Punjabi Bagh and parts of Moolchand, South Extension, and Greater Kailash.

Yogesh Jain, general secretary of Daryaganj Federation of RWAs, said 60% of the area is not getting any water while the rest are getting contaminated supply. “We are facing a shortage since the past 12 days. People are managing by sharing water from houses that have borewells or buying jerry cans,” 62-year-old Jain said.

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Vijay Singh

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