The Capital has begun to face water crises again. On Friday, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) office in Jhandewalan locked its gates after several protesting groups reached there, demanding water in their areas. The city may face further water shortages as the deadline given by Supreme Court to Haryana government is on May 21st. Dinesh Mohania, DJB vice-chairman said, “We have moved to Upper Yamuna River Board, but no decisions have been made yet. The situation is not improving. We are trying to ration water supply to ensure that only the poor don’t suffer”, hinting at water scarcity hitting VIP areas, Lutyens’ zone and embassies.
After the deadline Haryana government is not bound to supply water to Delhi at the same level. Currently, the city is getting 851 million gallons per day (MGD) against the normal peak summer supply of 916 MGD. The apex court had asked the Delhi government and the Delhi Jal Board to request Haryana for the maintenance of status quo on water supply. It also asked the Haryana government to take an independent decision on this matter.
On Friday, CM Arvind Kejriwal wrote to PM Modi seeking his intervention on the matter. In his letter to PM Modi, Kejriwal said the city has been receiving 1,133 cusecs of water from Haryana since 1996, but recently, for the first time in 22 years, the neighboring state has contested Delhi’s right over this water and partially stopped the supply to the national capital. “I would urge you (PM) to kindly use your good offices to persuade Haryana to continue supplying the same level of water that it has been supplying for last 22 years and not to disrupt it till the issue is finally decided by the courts”, Kejriwal said in the letter. On May 18th he also wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, saying, “Just two days are left, we need to act fast to prevent a crisis.”
Delhi’s CM Arvind Kejriwal is known for his vendetta politics across the nation. When he was not in power he also made false accusations against respected politicians of India. He accused leaders like Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari for corruption without any substantive evidence. When these leaders filed defamation case against Mr. Kejriwal, the court asked him to either face the proceedings or to apologise to the leaders. After this Kejriwal was on a sorry spree for which he was criticized among the public.
If Kejriwal would have made efforts earlier to solve the water crisis, there could have been some solution to the problem. It reflects on his incapabilities in solving issues. In 2015, the AAP promised to bring Water Swarajya in Delhi saying that they “will provide Water as a Right” to every household in the city. Now it seems they are falling short of their word.
Now with his government in the middle of water crisis, it seems that the political life of Kejriwal is on a down-slope. It will be interesting to see how he fulfills his high promises of giving free water to people of Delhi when the Delhi Jal Board itself is facing a shortage of funds for proper functioning. If Arvind Kejriwal puts his ego aside and discusses the issue with the central government, they together may find a solution but it seems he is only interested in playing the blame-game for his own shortcomings.