Delhi water crisis: LG Saxena asks Delhi Police chief to ensure vigil along Munak Canal to prevent water theft

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Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena instructed the city’s police chief to implement stringent surveillance measures along the Munak Canal to curb water theft, amidst the ongoing water crisis in the national capital.

Meanwhile, Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Wednesday requested the LG to deploy an assistant commissioner of police-level officer to patrol the stretch of the Munak Canal in Delhi to ensure that no illegal water-filling activity occurs.

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“It has been widely reported in media and also mentioned in the related case pending in Hon’ble Supreme Court that tanker mafia has become active in the midst of water crisis in Delhi. It has also been brought to knowledge that these tankers are making illegal theft of water from Munak Canal carrying water from the state of Haryana into Delhi,” a communication from the LG Secretariat said.

“This canal enters Delhi near Bawana where tankers have been reported to be lifting water from the canal and selling it illegally,” it said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and Atishi were involved in a social media spat over the water crisis.

Atishi in a Hindi post on X said that the LG office today sent a press release to all journalists in Delhi and added, “I have been abused a lot in it. Very bad things have been said about me.”

The AAP leader also said in the post that she knew that the LG and the BJP hated Aam Aadmi Party because the Delhi people repeatedly made Arvind Kejriwal the chief minister with a huge mandate.

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“….While hating us, you have started hating Delhi people. Abuse us as much as you want, say as many bad things to us. But do not stop the rightful water of Delhi people because of hatred against us. Delhi people are deeply distressed due to shortage of water…,” she said in the post.

The minister also said that all people in Delhi will get water if the BJP government in Haryana provides water to Delhi.

The Raj Niwas from its official handle hit back at Atishi saying “Mantriji, LG Saheb did not abuse you. The LG office has refuted your abuses for him and white lies with evidence, and has exposed your habit of misleading the people of Delhi.”

The LG office asked Atishi to file an FIR against the water theft and promised her that it will back the complaint with the strictest action, PTI reported.

If only the 54 per cent unaccounted water and 40 per cent leakage are plugged by the Kejriwal government, the poor people of Delhi will have more than ample water, it claimed.

“However, Minister Atishi will not say a single word about this, because of the deep nexus that exists between her party and the water mafia,” the statement added.

Citing the affidavit, Atishi said that from May 23, the water quantities released by the Haryana government were reduced.

The figures of the affidavit given by the Haryana government in the Supreme Court show that from May 1 to 22, Haryana released 719 cusecs of water in CLC and 330 cusecs of water in DSB through the Munak canal.

That means 1,049 cusecs of water were released daily. But after this, it started decreasing from May 23. That means, that when there were elections in Delhi, Haryana reduced the sending of water, she said.

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The LG office responded to allegations made by Atishi regarding water allocation, citing an affidavit filed by the Haryana government on June 10 in the Supreme Court. They asserted that Atishi’s claims were false and defamatory, as a review of the document contradicted her statements. In response to the water minister’s assertion of inadequate water supply from Haryana, the LG office stated that the submitted documents indicate Delhi receives more water than its designated share, with the flow never dropping below 1,050 cusecs, even for a day.

Over the past week, Delhi has grappled with a severe water scarcity, significantly impacting the daily lives of its residents. The crisis arose from declining water levels in the Yamuna River coupled with technical malfunctions at critical water treatment facilities.

Numerous areas are experiencing a drastic reduction or complete absence of water supply, compelling residents to resort to alternative sources such as water tankers and borewells to meet their needs.

(With inputs from agencies)

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