“Have To Hear Haryana Also”: Supreme Court On Delhi Water Board’s SOS

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The Supreme Court has decided to hear Delhi Jal Board’s petition against the Haryana government on the water crisis in the national capital on Monday, turning down an appeal for an urgent hearing on the matter. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had cited an “unimaginable level of Ammonia” in water supplied to Delhi as reason for its urgent appeal to the Supreme Court.

“What is the urgency? Why cannot this matter wait till Monday? We see the Ammonia connection and this matter can be taken up on Monday. This matter hanging fire for long and we have to hear from Haryana also,” the bench of Justice LN Rao had asked citing that the dispute is going on for several years.

Justice Rao said that the National Green Tribunal has already set up a committee and court wanted to look into its findings.

Meanwhile, Haryana government lawyer said Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan representing the state has tested positive for Covid and sought the case to be taken up later and not on Monday.

The three-judge bench turned down his request and directed Haryana to come prepared on Monday.

Earlier, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh representing the DJB had requested the Chief Justice of India to take up the case today itself. He told CJI that this case was to be heard yesterday but got deleted. 

“Ammonia level has gone unimaginable level and it is not possible to treat the water. Today we are about to shut down whole of Delhi,” Mr Singh representing the DJB said in the appeal.

Haryana, the DJB said, was sending untreated water at a time when the city needs more water due to Covid treatment at hospitals and festivals like Ramzan and Navratri.

Being a landlocked state, Delhi has four major sources of water the Yamuna, Ganga and the Beas rives and groundwater. Forty per cent of Delhi’s daily water production comes from Yamuna via Haryana

Earlier this week, DJB Vice-Chairman Raghav Chadha had accused Haryana of not honouring the legal commitments to supply water to Delhi. “Water supply in large part of Delhi will be affected because the Haryana government has chosen to remain oblivious to the water needs of Delhiites. It is not honouring the legal commitments to supply water to Delhi. This is criminal negligence on part of the Haryana government. It is willfully violating Delhiites’ right to life,” he said.

Delhi water treatment plants are equipped to treat water up to 1 PPM ammonia, after which the water becomes untreatable, Mr Chadha said.

Currently, the ammonia contamination levels are at 7.36 PPM, he had said.

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