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Delhi water crisis: Atishi threatens indefinite strike from June 21, urges PM Modi to step in

The Delhi minister Atishi's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the water crisis in the national capital comes amid massive pressure from the people to resolve the water shortage issue and continued protests by the BJP and Congress against the AAP government.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: June 19, 2024 15:03 IST
Delhi minister Atishi
Image Source : PTI Delhi minister Atishi

Delhi water crisis: Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Wednesday threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 21, demanding a solution for the ongoing water crisis in the national capital. She urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in to solve the ongoing issue which caused difficulties for common people in the city as Delhi is reeling under a shortage of water.

"Today I have written a letter to the Prime Minister saying that 28 lakh people in Delhi are not getting water. I have requested that he should help provide water as soon as possible...If the people of Delhi do not get their rightful share of water by the 21st, then I will be forced to do a Satyagraha," she said while addressing a press conference. Atishi said Delhi is grappling with a water crisis since Haryana is not releasing the capital's share of water. 

"Yesterday, Haryana released 513 MGD of water to Delhi as against 613 MGD. One MGD of water is for 28,500 people. This means that water was not released for over 28 lakh people," she added.

The minister said people are not only battling heatwave conditions but also water shortages. "I have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the water crisis requesting him to resolve the issue. If the crisis is not solved within two days, I will go on an indefinite strike from June 21," the AAP leader asserted. Atishi said they have written multiple letters to the Haryana government to resolve the issue. 

BJP hits back at Atishi

BJP Delhi president Virendra Sachdeva slammed Atishi, saying she was lying. "Yesterday's Haryana government data shows that Delhi has received more water than the fixed amount, but if Aam Aadmi Party leaders and MLAs stop colluding with tanker mafias and stop corruption, the water problem in Delhi will end," he added.

Writing a letter to the Prime Minister is a political drama, he asserted, adding these people indulge in wrongdoings and take commissions from the tank mafia. How come the Jal Board, which had a profit of 600 crores, is now in a loss of 73,000 crores, he asked.

If no water is received, how will the water treatment plants work, asks Atishi

Earlier, Atishi on Monday visited the Wazirabad barrage and said that due to less water from Haryana, the water level in Wazirabad decreased by 6.20 feet. She said the Yamuna river water comes from Haryana into Wazirabad pond from where it supplies to other water treatment plants of Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla.

"If no water is received, how will the water treatment plants work? We appeal to Haryana that the people in Delhi are worried and they should release water in Yamuna river because unless they release water in Yamuna, there will be continuous water shortage in Delhi," the AAP leader added.

All the water from here was sent to the Wazirabad water treatment plant, Chandrawal water treatment plant and Okhla water treatment plant. Now, there is a problem of water treatment in these three plants, Atishi said. The water production in Delhi is being done from Yamuna's water. One part of the water comes to Wazirabad barrage, the other part comes to Bawana Contact Point from Munak Canal. The Munak Canal is receiving less water, on the other hand there is no water at Wazirabad barrage, she added.

"In this situation, the water supply to Delhiites is decreasing because water from Yamuna is supplied to a treatment plant from where the purified water is supplied to different parts of Delhi. If water is not going to the water treatment plant, then how can the supplied water reach completely?" Atishi said.

Releasing the data, the Delhi government said that on June 17, 2023, the water level at Wazirabad was 674.50 feet, but on June 17, 2024, it was found to be only 668.30 feet. Similarly, on June 1, 2023, the water level at Wazirabad was 674.40 feet, while on June 1, 2024, the water level here was found to be 670.

90 feet. Delhi's water treatment plants produce 1005 MGD of water in normal times but due to shortage of raw water, it has fallen to 917 MGD, the minister said.

“Production has decreased by 48 MGD in the Wazirabad water treatment plant alone. Many filters of the Wazirabad water treatment plant are closed due to a shortage of water. On the other hand, if we look at the Munak Canal also, then barely 902, 903, and 905 cusecs of water are coming," said Atishi.

In such a situation, it is wrong for Haryana to claim that it is sending a sufficient amount of water to Delhi, because due to a lack of flow meters, Haryana does not have any real data for this, she said.

Protests by BJP and Congress against AAP government

Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of BJP and Congress continued their protests against the AAP government over the water crisis. Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva and MP Bansuri Swaraj held protests at the Indira Camp area, Andrews Ganj on Wednesday. Sachdeva claimed that Haryana was releasing Delhi's full share of water into the Yamuna river but, this water gets stolen by the tanker mafia after it enters Delhi because the ministers and MLAs of the ruling AAP are hand in glove with them.

Raising slogans against the Delhi government, members of the BJP broke empty 'matkas' (earthen pitchers) during their protest and alleged that people were falling sick as they were forced to drink dirty water from taps.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Delhi water crisis: BJP holds protests against AAP govt, demands CM Kejriwal's resignation

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