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SC directs Delhi to approach Yamuna Board for water supply, says 'it is a complex and sensitive issue'

In a significant development, Himachal Pradesh has firmly stated its inability to share surplus water with Delhi, as argued in the Supreme Court.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: June 13, 2024 13:23 IST
Delhi water crisis
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Residents fill water from a tanker amid a water crisis, at the Vivekanand Camp, Chanakyapuri area, in New Delhi.

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has directed the Delhi government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) for water supply, following Himachal Pradesh's assertion that it lacks surplus water to share with Delhi. A bench comprising Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Prasanna B Varale instructed the Delhi government to apply the UYRB by 5 pm, seeking water supply for the national capital on humanitarian grounds.

Himachal Pradesh's revised statement

During the proceedings, the Himachal Pradesh government informed the Supreme Court that it does not possess the surplus 136 cusecs of water as previously claimed, effectively withdrawing its earlier statement.

Legal complexity and expertise

The bench acknowledged the complexity of interstate water sharing, emphasising that the Supreme Court lacks the technical expertise to make interim decisions on such matters. It suggested that decisions concerning the allocation of Yamuna water should be addressed by the bodies established under the 1994 memorandum of understanding.

Immediate actions and next steps

As per the bench's directive, the UYRB has been tasked with convening a meeting promptly upon receipt of Delhi's application and make a decision expeditiously regarding the water supply issue.

Background of the case

The Supreme Court's intervention came in response to a plea filed by the Delhi government, seeking a direction to Haryana to release surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to alleviate Delhi's water crisis.

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