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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Tanker mafia operational on Haryana side of Yamuna river: Delhi govt tells Supreme Court

The government said Delhi Jal Board officials have been directed to conduct daily inspections in their zones to check for wastage/misuse of potable water through overflow of water tanks, use of water at construction sites, illegal connections etc and take necessary penal actions

PTI New Delhi Published 13.06.24, 05:29 PM
People collect drinking water from a tanker amid ongoing Delhi water crisis, at Vivekanand camp in New Delhi.

People collect drinking water from a tanker amid ongoing Delhi water crisis, at Vivekanand camp in New Delhi. PTI picture.

A day after the Supreme Court slammed the AAP government over tanker mafia in water-scarce national capital, the Delhi government claimed they were operational on the Haryana side of the Yamuna river over which the Delhi Jal Board has no jurisdiction.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Delhi government said water tankers are needed to cater to areas not connected to water supply lines or where the supply is inadequate.

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It said the total water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board and private tankers in the city is around 5-6 million gallons per day which constitutes only 0.5 per cent of total supply.

"DJB has been trying to improve the availability of water tankers so that even private tankers can be replaced by public tankers. Multiple letters have been written by the Petitioner Government to the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi (who is at present in charge for ensuring action).

"The tanker mafia is operational on the Haryana side of the Yamuna river over which DJB has no jurisdiction," it said.

Highlighting the steps taken taken by the Delhi government to stop water wastage, it said it has reduced losses in water transmission from Haryana to Delhi from 30 per cent to 5 per cent.

"Earlier the raw water from Yamuna and Ravi, Beas sources used to come in Delhi at Wazirabad and Haiderpur through river course and unlined Delhi sub Branch (DSB), resulting in 30 per cent loss in unlined canal.

"DJB spent about Rs 500 crore in constructing Carried Lined Channel (CLC) and the losses reduced from 30 per cent in the river course to 5 per cent.

The Delhi government said Delhi Jal Board officials have been directed to conduct daily inspections in their zones to check for wastage/misuse of potable water through overflow of water tanks, use of water at construction sites, illegal connections etc and take necessary penal actions.

People in Delhi are suffering due to water scarcity, the apex court had observed on Wednesday, slamming the AAP government over water wastage and tanker mafia and sought to know what steps it has taken to ease the recurring problem.

A vacation bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Prasanna B Varale had told the Delhi government it will ask the city police to take action against the tanker mafia if it can't deal with them.

If the same water can be transported using tankers, why can't it be supplied through the pipeline, a disquieted court had said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi government seeking a direction to Haryana to release the surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to the national capital to mitigate its water woes.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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