HC fiat on supply of water from Haryana to Delhi
Delhi High Court on Friday said Haryana appeared to be "trying to resile or renege" from the arrangement made by it for supply of water to Delhi and ordered instalment of ultrasonic water meters in Munak canal to measure the water there.
New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Friday said Haryana appeared to be "trying to resile or renege" from the arrangement made by it for supply of water to Delhi and ordered instalment of ultrasonic water meters in Munak canal to measure the water there.
"It appears to us, Haryana is trying to resile or renege from the arrangement made by the court as it is inconvenient for them," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul said.
The observation was made after the lawyers for Haryana objected to putting up of water metres at various places on the Munak canal to measure the amount of water being supplied to Delhi.
The high court also ordered Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to instal ultrasonic water meters in the Munak canal to measure and log the water supply so as to ascertain whether the court's directions were being complied with or not.
It directed DJB to procure the meters at their cost and install them at the head of the Munak canal as well as the older Delhi sub-branch canal and any other places in Delhi as per the wisdom of the amicus.
The court directed DJB to install the meters in two weeks and added that, thereafter, "measurement will be done on regular basis and will be logged".
A person each from Haryana Irrigation Department and DJB would be present along with the amicus curiae during reading of the measurements and a complete log shall be placed before the court in digital form on next date, the court said.
During the hearing, Haryana alleged that DJB wasted over 400 cusecs of water which could have benefited over one crore people.
DJB denied the allegation and pointed out that yesterday Haryana released too much water "en masse" that they had to open sewer gates to release the pressure.
DJB, represented by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, also questioned why Haryana's irrigation department, represented by senior advocate Geeta Luthra, was objecting to the monitoring of the water supply. It asserted that there should be "continuous monitoring".
Meanwhile, amicus curiae Rakesh Khanna submitted before the bench that ultrasonic water flow meters were the latest technology available for measuring the supply and these were easily available.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 1.
On the last date of hearing, the fight over water between Delhi and Haryana had prompted the High Court to remark whether this is a "banana republic".
The two sides could not agree even on the issue of whom to be appointed for measuring the supply of water in Munak, with Haryana saying no Delhi-based expert or institute shall undertake the exercise, while DJB argued that no central authority will carry out the measurement.
The impasse over the issue of measurement of water supply made the court to ask amicus curiae Rakesh Khanna to suggest an independent body for carrying out the exercise.
The court on December 19 last year had directed Haryana to release 719 cusec water into Munak canal and also 330 cusec into Delhi branch (older canal) for use by WTPs here.
DJB on March 13, had alleged that since February 10, the water supply had dropped to around 450 cusec.
The civic body had also said that ever since the election results were declared, the supply from Haryana has decreased.
Haryana, on the other hand, had alleged that Delhi wasted the maximum amount of water in the entire country and said it would resume full supply of water once DJB fixes the leakages in its twin pipelines connecting the canal to Wazirabad WTP.
The bench was hearing a PIL seeking commissioning of the 102-km Munak canal which was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 400 crore from the Delhi government on the condition that the national capital will be supplied 80 MGD water from it.