NEW DELHI: Observing that it did not have expertise in deciding water sharing disputes among states, Supreme Court on Thursday asked Delhi govt to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) to seek 150 cusecs more water from Haryana to sort out the crisis in the national capital.
Taking note of problems faced by Delhi residents, a bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Prasanna B Varale directed UYRB to convene a meeting on Friday to decide on Delhi govt’s plea for an additional 150 cusecs water from Haryana at the earliest.The court passed the brief order after Delhi and Haryana kept blaming and accusing each other over not complying with the water-sharing agreement. The court said water disputes between states were complex and sensitive issues which should be adjudicated by an expert body like UYRB.

“The issue should be left to be considered by the body constituted with the agreement of parties in the MoU of 1994. Since UYRB has already directed Delhi to submit an application for supply of additional 150 cusecs of water on humanitarian grounds, such an application be made, if not already made, by today 5pm, and thereafter UYRB shall convene a meeting tomorrow (Friday) and take decision in the matter at the earliest. If need be, the board can convene on a day-to-day basis. The writ petition is disposed of,” the court ordered.
As the bench on the previous hearing raised the issue of tanker mafia working in the national capital, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Delhi, refuted the allegation and said the water mafia was active in Haryana and the court should ask the neighbouring state to take action.
He also said loss of water during supply to households was not abnormal in Delhi and a similar situation was prevailing in other cities and states. He also suggested that the court appoint a committee to resolve this issue.
UYRB is a subordinate office under the department of water resources, ministry of Jal Shakti. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Utter Pradesh, Rajasthan and National Capital Territory of Delhi on May, 12, 1994 on allocation of utilisable surface flow of Yamuna river up to Okhla barrage among the co-basin states.


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