Millennium Post

Water your woes

Every summer, taps go dry in most parts of the Capital as Delhi’s water demand peaks. However, the issue only pops up in the minds of our political leaders during the election season. They make tall claims of providing safe and portable water to  the public during poll campaigns, but when it comes to delivering on their promise they all go into hiding. Earlier this year, the Samajwadi Party-led UP government threatened to cut water supply to Delhi stating that the Capital’s drains are polluting Yamuna. Interestingly, the move came just days after former Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal named Mulayam Singh Yadav in his list of most corrupt politicians. Cleraly, the ensuing drama did nothing to help parched millions of Delhi. Although, the former AAP government, despite staying in power for only 49 days, gave 700 litres of free water to every household, once it resigned, the Capital’s water woes only exacerbated since then.

With the population of over 18 million, Delhi needs more than 1,300 million gallons of water per day, while it only gets around 900 million gallon. It depends on its neighbouring states for its water needs, especially UP and Haryana. However, state governments over the years have only blamed the neighbours while ignoring the mismanagement by its own civic bodies, even though ground water level has gone down to below 132 feet in the city from just 33 feet in 1983. Yet, reports say as much as 52 per cent of water is wasted due to leakages in pipelines of Delhi Jal Board. Water scarcity has plagued Delhi for years, but government’s ignorance on the matter has allowed the ‘tanker mafia’ to hold the Capital to ransom. It’s time to end this collusive silence on the issue and act. Delhi government must frame a coherent policy to preserve its own water resources and reduce its dependency on others. The water sharing pact with neighbouring states also has to be reconfigured so as to avoid threats in future. Let there be no water war.
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