Acute water crisis in Delhi needs immediate resolution – Statetimes

Omkar Dattatray

It is very unfortunate and disturbing that the people of some areas of national capital Delhi are encountering and facing worst water crisis which is unprecedented .The bitter fact that the people of national capital Delhi are reeling under deep water crisis in these days of scorching heat of summer and amidst intensive heat wave .Drinking water is the basic and indispensible need of the people and without adequate water we cannot live and pass our lives. So water is the necessary requirement for the people .The fact that people of Delhi are facing the acute drinking water crisis is the reflection on the sad state of affairs that the people of the national capital are under the acute and deep water crisis and one can imagine the scarcity of water in the rural areas of India .People of Delhi have to wait for hours in scorching and unbearable heat to get a bucket of drinking water and it has been seen that some households are getting water with great difficulty .The people of Delhi are facing inconvenience and hardship in the absence of adequate water .Water crisis is a human problem and it needs to be tackled as such .But alas! Water crisis of Delhi is being politicized and it is very sad. The political parties without any exception are busy in politicizing this human issue and are trying to get political scores .Be it, BJP ,Congress or even the AAP all are doing cheap and petty politics over the water crisis .Instead of helping the government in mitigating the drinking water crisis ,the political parties and their leaders are contributing and augmenting the water crisis and thus all are busy playing negative and anti people role. .The AAP which is in power in Delhi has promised free drinking water to the people of Delhi ,but it has miserably failed to provide drinking water to Delhites at cheap rates or free water .The water crisis in Delhi is a cause of serious concern to the people ,but unfortunately the political parties instead of providing a helping hand to Delhi government to lessen the water crisis are busy in playing dirty politics for political gains without having any regard for the people of Delhi who are facing untold and severe problem due to acute scarcity of drinking water .It is very disturbing that this human problem which has turned out to be acute and deep and is a human issue and problem is being politicized by all hues and colors of political parties thus compounding the water crisis. There is urgent need to address this human problem with compassion and care so that people get the required quantity of water .The provision of drinking water to Delhites should be the first priority of the AAP government .All the political parties are required to cooperate with the government of Delhi to mitigate the acute water crisis so that people get required and adequate drinking water to tide over the crisis which has made the life of Delhites miserable and tough. Currently ,the residents of Delhi are struggling with drinking water .The main reason for the shortage of water is climate change .The overutilization and wastage of water cause the current water situation in Delhi .According to a report ,the average Indian wastes 30 per cent of their daily water requirement .Water scarcity closely related to water stress or water crisis is lack of fresh water resources to meet the standard water demand .There are two type of water scarcity .One is physical .The other is economic water scarcity .Physical water scarcity is where there is not enough water to meet all demands. Delhi is presently serviced from Ganga basin ,Yamuna sub-basin ,Indus basin and internal aquifers for raw water supply. These sources are continuously under pressure owing to increasing population. The demand for drinking water and other water is enormous and is increasing with each passing day due to constant increase in the population of Delhi and it being the national capital ,people from various states flock to Delhi for dwelling and this results in ever increasing demand for drinking water .Drinking water is a very scare and valuable commodity and the people should use water very judiciously and avoid wastage of water as for as possible and so the people of Delhi should use water very judiciously in order not to face the kind of water crisis. The Delhi Jal Board is responsible for the Production and Distribution of potable water after treating raw water from various sources like river Yamuna ,Bhakhra Storage ,Upper Ganga Canal & Groundwater and also provides treatment and disposal of waste water. About 70% of Delhi ‘s water supply comes from the Yamuna which is highly susceptible to pollution from industries ,municipal sewers and agriculture fields laced with fertilizers and pesticides .Nearly 57 million people depend on the Yamuna’s waters ,and the river accounts for more than 70% of Delhi’s water supply .Yamuna is called as the lifeline of Delhi .Haryana further contended that Delhi’s current water scarcity was primarily due to the city’s mismanagement .,highlighting its failure to reduce distribution losses, control water theft ,and regulate per capita water usage ,which exceeds the national urban average .Amid Delhi’s ongoing water crisis ,the Haryana government informed the SC that Himachal Pradesh had not released any excess water intended for Delhi .Earlier this month the top court had directed HP to release 137 cusecs of excess water to Haryana ,with prior notice ,to ensure its delivery to Delhi .However ,the Haryana government contended that HP claimed to have released this amount of unused Yamuna water to the Tejewala {Hathni Kund Barrage},it did so without providing details on their actual water usage in June.AAP -led Delhi government had filed a plea seeking direction to Haryana to release surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to mitigate water crisis in the national capital .Delhi Government should solve the current water crisis on priority bases so that people are saved from misery ,inconvenience ,hardship and troubles because of acute drinking water crisis. The political parties of congress and BJP should avoid blame game for water scarcity in Delhi and instead help the Delhi government to tide over the acute water crisis to give some relief to the people of Delhi in this scorching heat and warm season when northern India including Delhi is under the grip of intense heat wave and because of this also the water crisis worsens and puts people to untold suffering .Delhi must implement sustainable policy and governance reforms with technological interventions ,infrastructure development and alternate water conservation methods .At the same time ,the people should also take it as a collective responsibility and inculcate responsible water consumption behaviors .The reality is ,that Delhi ,the second-most populous city after Tokyo in the world, with 33.8 million people ,is once again grappling with an extreme water shortage .Amidst scorching weather ,with temperature around 50 degree C ,the Delhi government has turned to SC for immediate intervention to resolve its escalating water crisis .It has sought directives for the state of Haryana to release additional water to alleviate the crisis and provide relief to millions of Delhities .Delhi largely depends on its neighboring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand ,Punjab ,Haryana and UP to meet around 90% of its drinking water demand .
There states should view the current water crisis as a human problem and thus provide required water to Delhi to mitigate the present water crisis .In the thick of the political blame game ,it is distressing to see visuals of women, children and young men risking their lives ,desperately chasing after water tankers for a bucket of water .What is more concerning is the disparity in water supply between affluent neighborhoods and slums where the underprivileged bear the brunt of the water scarcity .Instead of protests and demonstrations by the BJP and congress. These parties should cooperate with the government of Delhi to address and mitigate the extreme water crisis in Delhi and give some relief to Delhites immediately and may sanity prevail upon AAP government and the opposition BJP and Congress to find an early solution of the water scarcity in Delhi.
(The author is a columnist,
social and KP activist).

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