Chandigarh, June 15— The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, has urged the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) to ensure release of the legitimate share of the state in Yamuna water at Okhla, ask Delhi to pay Rs 150 crore on account of the extra raw water supplied, and take up with the Central Government the issue of early execution of the Renuka, Kishau and Lakhwar Dam projects to overcome water shortage in the state.
Speaking at the 36th meeting of NCRPB in New Delhi today, the Chief Minister said that Delhi’s drawl of water from Haryana resulted in reduction of the state’s legitimate water share from Yamuna and caused extreme hardship to the people of the state. Large dry and arid areas of Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat districts of Haryana falling in the NCR are being deprived of their legitimate share in Yamuna water due to non-release of due share of Haryana in Yamuna waters at Okhla. The Upper Yamuna River Board is planning to install telemetry system at different points on Yamuna for accurate assessment of the flow in the river.
This will help Haryana in getting water as per our share in Gurgaon Canal for the dry and arid areas of these districts, he said. Haryana is a water deficit state with respect to both surface and ground water resources. River Yamuna is the major source of surface water for Haryana with more than half of the state, including the areas falling in the National Capital Region (NCR), receiving water from this river. Availability of water in Yamuna is declining gradually. This is not only a cause of concern for Haryana, but also for the NCR as a whole as major water requirement of the region, including that of Delhi, is dependent on this river.
He said that despite depleting inflows in the Yamuna, Haryana has been meeting the drinking water needs of Delhi from its own share. Haryana also carries water share of Delhi from Ravi Beas and Yamuna waters through Canal network whose operation and maintenance costs are huge. “Delhi is neither paying charges for extra raw water nor for O&M. At present, Rs 94 crore is due from Delhi, on account of supplying extra raw water and Rs 56.57 crore for Operations and Maintenance (O and M) charges. Thus, a total of Rs. 150.57 crore is outstanding against Delhi. I would urge the Board to step in and get these pending payments released from Delhi”, he said. However, the problem of acute shortage of water can be addressed to some extent on completion of the proposed three dams at Renuka, Kishau and Lakhwar on Yamuna and its tributaries. “Here, I would like to place on record our sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister for according approval for investment of Rs 4,000 crore for construction of Lakhwar Dam.
I would also urge the Board to assume a more proactive role and take up the matter with Govt. of India for expeditious execution of these projects,” the Chief Minister said. Moreover, since drinking water to Delhi cannot be the responsibility of Haryana alone, Haryana would request other states of Northern India, including Punjab, to come forward and contribute their share to fulfilling the drinking water requirement of the national Capital. The Chief Minister pointed out that the problem of short supplies downstream Okhla Barrage was further compounded due to discharge of the untreated sewage and industrial effluents in the stretch of the river passing through Delhi territory. The water being supplied presently is totally unfit for human as well as animal consumption. Although the National Green Tribunal is seized of the issue, yet the Board may issue appropriate directions in the matter and monitor the steps being taken by the concerned states. “I would urge the Board to find an early solution to this serious problem affecting the people of the NCR with the cooperation of all the member-states”, Mr Manohar Lal said.