New Delhi, Jun 18: Amid severe watershortage in the city, Chief Ministers of Delhi and Haryana met here today to resolve the water-sharing dispute but failed to end the deadlock with both sides sticking to their respective positions.
The two chief ministers Sheila Dikshit and Bhupinder Singh Hooda held a two-hour discussion in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to iron out the differences at the intervention of the Prime Minister's Office.
Delhi has been accusing Haryana of triggering severe water crisis by cutting the supply of raw water to the city while the neighbouring state has been maintaining that it is already supplying almost double the share of the national capital.
Sources said the meeting could not arrive at a solution to the dispute as both the states held on to their respective positions.
After the meeting, Hooda said “Delhi is the capital of the country and is facing water shortage. I am also concerned about that. Whenever there is more demand, we will work out a solution.”
Sources said Bansal asked both the Chief Ministers to take “flexible” positions and resolve their differences through talks.
In the meeting, Dikshit forcefully demanded more water from Haryana saying the national capital cannot be deprived of its “legitimate” requirement of water.
“They were hopeful that the things will be settled soon. A solution is being worked out. Both Chief Ministers expressed their confidence that the meeting has helped in doing the spadework which will go a long way in overcoming the present situation. They were hopeful that things will be settled soon. A solution is being worked out,” a statement from Dikshit's office said.
Union Water Resources Secretary Dhruv Vijai Singh and top officials of Delhi and Haryana governments were present in the meeting.
Noting that the meeting helped in “bridging the communication gap” between the two governments, Hooda said “the demand for water in Delhi is increasing and if there is a crisis, we will release more water to the national capital... No quantum has been decided yet.”
Hooda added he has also suggested better water management in Delhi, saying “every drop of water is precious and needs to be conserved”.
Talking about the Carrier Link Canal (CLC), Hooda said Haryana is ready with it but one cut in the canal has to be plugged by Delhi.
“This is the decision of the Group of Ministers as also the Upper Yamuna Canal Board taken on January 3. The cut in the canal has to be plugged,” he said.
Hooda denied Haryana has ever cut water supply to Delhi, saying “no water supply to Delhi has ever been shut by Haryana...atleast since 2005”.
In the meeting, Delhi government officials raised the issue of dip in water level in Wazirabad pond saying it had come down to 672 ft against normal level of 674.5 ft. Water treatment plants at Haiderpur, Wazirabad and Chandrawal rely on raw water supply from the Wazirabad pond.
Officials said the Munaka canal dispute between the two states also figured in the meeting where Delhi insisted that it should get 80 million gallons per day (MGD) of water as agreed earlier.
The Munak canal was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 414 crore from Delhi government on condition that the national capital will be supplied 80 MGD water from it. But later, Haryana refused to supply the water to the city.
Officials said both the Chief Ministers agreed to interact with each other to resolve any dispute regarding water-sharing between the two governments.
“They were of the view that the interests of both the states will be protected and the requirements will be met after mutual understanding,” said the officials.