Delhi trying to conceal its water mismanagement, Haryana tells SC

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7

The Haryana government has told the Supreme Court that the Delhi Government was trying to conceal its utter failure in management of water by accusing it of being responsible for increased Ammonia levels in the drinking water supplied to the national capital.

In an affidavit filed in response to the Delhi Jal Board’s plea, the Haryana Government said it’s Delhi which was responsible for increased Ammonia levels in the drinking water supply to its residents as the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant had not been upgraded to treat water.

Haryana contended that the Central Pollution Control Board had examined the water of river Yamuna on January 13, 2021 and it was found that Ammonia levels rose sharply from Delhi contact point at Palla to Wazirabad.

This was due to unauthorised discharges between Palla and Wazirabad and sediment deposition at Wazirabad Pond and therefore it’s up to DJB to control pollution at these points, Haryana submitted.

As per Environmental Protection Rules, 1986, permissible limit of Ammonia in inland surface water is 50 PPM (mg / l) and as per WHO permissible limit of Ammonia in drinking water is 1.5 PPM (mg / l), it said, contending that the drinking water supplied by authorities and treatment on its plants can have the Ammonia level up to 1.5 PPM.

“Whereas DJB instead of improving its capacity to treat the increased permissible limits of Ammonia in the river water raises hue and cry if the river water at Yamuna contains the Ammonia level of just above 0.88 PPM stating that the water treatment plant in Wazirabad cannot treat water which is above 0.8 PPM, ”said the affidavit filed by Haryana.

A Bench-headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde – which had on March 25 asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) to maintain status quo on supply of Yamuna water to Delhi – will take up the matter next week after DJB files its affidavit.

The DJB had moved the top court for directions to the Haryana government to stop the discharge of effluents into the Yamuna and release sufficient water to Delhi.

DBJ said water level has fallen in the national capital. Canal repair works should not be done in the months of March and April when the water demand is at its peak and Haryana had not responded to several letters written to it.

On behalf of Haryana Government, senior counsel Shyam Divan had said full level of water supply has been made available.

Ahead of scorching summer, the DJB had on March 8 moved the Supreme Court against the Haryana government to avert a potential water crisis in the national capital.

Delhi receives 479 million gallons water a day (MGD) against 609 MGD from Haryana. Besides, Delhi draws 90 MGD groundwater and receives 250 MGD from the Upper Ganga Canal.

As per a Supreme Court order of February 1996, the pond level in Wazirabad has to be kept full. The normal level of the Yamuna near Wazirabad Pond should be 674.50 feet but it has dropped to 670.90 feet.

Haryana supplies water to Delhi through the Carrier-Lined Channel (CLC), Delhi Sub-Branch (DSB) and the Yamuna. CLC and DSB supply water from Hathni Kund via Munak canal and BBMC.

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