Work mutually to address water woes, SC tells Haryana, Delhi

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Haryana on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it would take at least 15 days for the repair and restoration of Munak canal that was damaged during the Jat agitation and restore it to its original condition.

Haryana told the apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit that three Poclain machines and seven dumpers have been pressed into service for the repair and restoration of Munak canal, but it would take at least 15 days to restore it to its original condition.

However, Haryana said that the time period of 15 days was subject to condition that “there should not be any interruption by the agitators during the execution of work”.

Appreciating that a team of officials from Delhi government too was present at the canal site for the joint restoration of breach, the bench said that both Delhi and Haryana should mutually do it. The bench also said that there was nothing adversarial in the release of water to the national capital from Haryana.

Even in the last hearing of the PIL by the Delhi Jal Board on February 22, the court had said: “We are indeed happy to note that there is no adversarial element in this litigation as both the governments appear to be willing to co-operate with each other in every respect.”

The court was told that Delhi has sent its manpower and machinery to contribute to the efforts for the restoration of the canal. In the course of the February 22 hearing, the court was told that Delhi government would lend all possible technical and other assistance required for the restoration of the damaged canal.

Haryana told the court that it had on February 22, released 500 cusecs of water which would reach Delhi’s Haiderpur Water Treatment Plant after taking its normal travelling time. The court was also told that besides 500 cusecs, Haryana has also released another 700 cusecs of water through the Yamuna.

Disputing the claim of Haryana government over the quantity of water released by it, the counsel for Delhi told the court that the national capital had received less than 50 percent of the water it gets from the neighbouring state.

However, reiterating that Haryana has released 500 cusecs and 700 cusecs of water, its counsel said that there may be some loss of water on account of seepage en route.

In the course of the last hearing of the matter on February 22, Haryana had told the apex court that Munak Regulator and barrages at Khubru and Mandora village had been hit by violence in wake of the Jat agitation demanding reservation in Haryana.

Munak Regulator and barrages at Khubru and Mandora village are the three points from where water is supplied to the NCT region.

The court in the last hearing on February 22 had directed the centre to take “appropriate steps” to ensure that the proper security is provided to the three barrages at Munak, Mandora and Khubru to prevent any further mischief affecting supply of water to Delhi at the three points.

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