SC disposes of Delhi govt's plea seeking additional supply of water

New Delhi, Jun 13 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Thursday disposed of a plea filed by the Delhi government seeking additional supply of water from neighbouring states to address the raised water demand of the national capital.

A vacation bench, headed by Justice P.K. Mishra asked the city government to move an application before the Haryana government for the release of 150 cusecs of additional water on humanitarian grounds by 5 p.m. on Thursday, if not already made.

"Thereafter, the Upper Yamuna River Board shall convene a meeting tomorrow (Friday) and take a decision on the matter at the earliest. If need be, the board can convene on a day-to-day basis," ordered the Bench, also comprising Justice P.B. Varale.

The apex court emphasised that the issue concerning the sharing of water is complex and sensitive and must be left to the river board for resolution in terms of the MoU entered between parties in 1994.

Pertinently, the Advocate General representing Himachal Pradesh retracted an earlier statement made before the Supreme Court that it would release 137 cusecs of additional water for drinking purposes in the national capital. On Wednesday, the top court questioned Himachal Pradesh for making a "false" statement that it has excess water in reservoirs.

"If you are already releasing it, why was it not made known to the Upper Yamuna River Board? The other day, your Additional Advocate General said that this document (pertaining to 137 cusecs surplus water) was produced before the Board. Why are false statements made in the court?" it asked.

Also, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government for not acting against tanker mafias in the city and cautioned that it would ask the Delhi Police for action to mitigate the water crisis in the national capital.

"If water is coming from Himachal Pradesh, where is the water going in Delhi? Have you taken any action or measures against these tanker mafias? There are reports that tanker mafias are working in Delhi and water is engulfed by them and you are not taking any action. If you are not taking any action, we will hand it over to Delhi Police to crack down on tanker mafias," it told the Delhi government.

The SC wondered how the water is supplied through tankers to the common public when pipelines are dry and empty.

In its petition filed before the apex court, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government demanded that neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh be directed to release extra water for a month to address the extraordinary and excessive water demand of the city triggered due to a surge in summer temperature.



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Title: SC disposes of Delhi govt's plea seeking additional supply of water

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