Water Debate

Delhi-Haryana Water Debate Continues | Best City In 2024 ?

Water Debate

Amid increasing tensions between Delhi and Haryana over water use, Atishi of Aam Aadmi Party’s water ministry has accused Haryana’s ruling BJP of not providing its allotted share.

NDTV’s Priyanka Poonawalla reports from Delhi. She states that people in Geeta Colony, Okhla and Chanakyapuri’s Sanjay colony are waiting in long queues to obtain water from tankers.

 Water Debate | Long lines of people queue for water

As Delhi struggles with an ongoing water crisis, residents endure long waits and battles for access to clean drinking water. According to Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, climate change will only exacerbate access issues further by raising temperatures further and increasing drought frequency. Water Debate

On June 21st, Atishi of AAP’s Delhi Water Minister launched an indefinite hunger strike at Bhogal in South Delhi to press her government’s demand for additional water from Haryana. Sunita Kejriwal’s wife read out a message from Arvind Kejriwal – currently detained – who expressed his sorrow about how Delhi residents have suffered during her hunger strike. Water Debate

The AAP government has established a “war room” to oversee the water crisis and provided residents with a number to request tankers. Furthermore, strict water conservation rules were put into effect with fines applied for any wastage of precious resource – yet shortages continue and people spend significant portions of their income to obtain potable water supplies. Water Debate

VK Saxena lambasted the AAP government for politicizing the issue and called for a collaborative approach between states. He noted that Delhi government should instead prioritize increasing water treatment capacity and fixing an aging supply system instead of engaging in “polemical exercise” that will only harm its citizens while alienating other governments.

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 Water Debate | AAP’s hunger strike

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has petitioned the Supreme Court for assistance in dealing with Delhi’s increasingly severe water shortage crisis. AAP wants Haryana’s government to release more water for use by Delhi, while at the same time demanding treatment plants be set up by Delhi council to handle and distribute this vital resource in affected areas of Delhi. Water Debate

The party has reported that the current situation violates basic human rights and violates Constitution guarantees of dignity and quality life for millions. Furthermore, city sewage water flows directly into Yamuna River polluting millions of lives. Water Debate

Atishi has taken to an indefinite hunger strike in response to Delhi’s water crisis. She is taking part in a ‘Satyagraha’ in Bhogal near Jangpura where she accuses Haryana’s BJP-led government of not releasing Delhi’s share of water; adding that she tried every democratic means possible to resolve the matter. Water Debate

BJP leaders have strongly denounced Atishi’s hunger strike and demanded answers from AAP leadership. Bansuri Swaraj, head of BJP Delhi unit Bansuri Swaraj said Atishi’s indefinite hunger strike is “sham”. She claimed AAP leaders are supporting ‘water tanker mafia’ by collecting commission for every delivery; also accusing Atishi of exploiting this crisis for political gains ahead of next year’s Delhi Assembly elections.

 Water Debate | BJP’s protest

As Delhi residents wait in long queues for water, BJP leaders and workers have organized protest marches throughout the national capital. Ramesh Bidhuri led his protest march at a Jal Board filling pump in Okhla, where police used water cannons to disperse the crowd. “One does not become a common man by wearing long sleeve shirts and saying ‘aam aadmi’,” Bidhuri claimed as an indirect criticism against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

BJP President Virendra Sachdeva lashed out against AAP Government, alleging that corruption within Delhi Jal Board is at the root of water woes plaguing city residents. Sachdeva asserted that water wasteful tanker mafias have stolen water that otherwise should have been protected against by AAP rule, leaving millions to suffer due to shortages.

Atishi has also taken an indefinite hunger strike demanding Delhi receive its share of water from Yamuna; she blames Haryana state, run by the BJP-dominated BJP for failing to provide it.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders and MPs along with party workers have staged protests across Delhi against the AAP government over its handling of the water crisis. Many of these demonstrations involved smashing matkas (earthen pitchers). Others held banners denouncing it as well as accusing it of selling off Delhi’s supply to tanker mafias.

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 Water Debate | Political contention

Politics have played a significant role in Delhi’s water crisis. Many activists have spoken out against what they see as ineptness and inefficiency from government officials, with images and videos on social media showing residents queuing up for tankers in Geeta Colony areas like Geeta Colony. Rationing water has had an enormous effect on daily life and created significant tension among citizens.

Water supply issues have sparked political rivalry between the ruling AAP and BJP parties, with both accusing each other of mismanagement; with claims by the latter that AAP water was either being wasted or stolen from them by “water mafias”.

Responding to this crisis, AAP has intensified efforts to resolve it. In May, Delhi filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking immediate additional water from Haryana through Wazirabad barrage in Delhi. They requested the Supreme Court direct Haryana to release 137 cubic ft/day through Wazirabad barrage for use by Delhi residents.

However, the Supreme Court dismissed this plea due to infrastructural advances since 1996 in Delhi’s water management. Instead, it suggested that Delhi engage with UYRB to address this issue; how this will play out remains to be seen.

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