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Is this a banana republic: HC on Delhi-Har water row

The fight between Delhi and Haryana over supply of water, or lack of it, to the national capital on Friday prompted the Delhi High Court to remark whether this is a “banana republic”.

“Two states of the country are fighting with each other. Is this a banana republic?” a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul asked after hearing the allegations levelled against each other by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Haryana’s irrigation department. The two sides could not agree even on the issue of whom to appoint for measuring the supply of water in Munak, with Haryana saying no Delhi-based expert or institute shall undertake the exercise, while DJB arguing that no central authority will carry out the measurement.

The impasse over the issue of measurement of water supply made the court to ask amicus curiae Rakesh Khanna to suggest an independent body for carrying out the exercise.

During arguments, DJB lawyer Suresh Tripathy alleged that since the Aam Aadmi Party government came to power in the capital, supply of water from Haryana through Munak canal has dropped substantially due to which the Dwarka water treatment plant (WTP) may have to be shut down soon.

He also placed on record a letter written by DJB to Haryana complaining that officials of Haryana’s irrigation department “physically intervened and disallowed” its staff from taking water for Nangloi, Dwarka and Bawana WTPs here.
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