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Regional

SC to hear DJB plea on 'insufficient supply' from Haryana

IANS | March 22, 2021 05:46 PM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine on Thursday a fresh application by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) seeking direction to the Haryana government to stop the discharge of untreated pollutants into Yamuna and also release sufficient water to avoid any water crisis in the capital.

Advocate Shadan Farasat mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and sought urgent listing of the fresh application, in the pending plea, as the pollution level in Yamuna is very high.

Contending that against the backdrop of Holi festival, the water demand is expected to increase, he insisted the capital is not receiving sufficient water from Haryana and sought an urgent hearing in the matter.

The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on March 25.

The DJB also said that the high level of water pollutants is depleting the quality of water entering from Haryana side.

The DJB, in its application, said due to shortage in water supply from Haryana side, it has been forced to do water rationing in the capital. Currently, Delhi receives 479 million gallons water a day (MGD), against 609 MGD, from Haryana. The Yamuna level near Wazirabad Pond should be 674.50 feet, but is 670.90 feet.

On January 13, the Supreme Court had said pollution free water forms the basic right under the constitutional framework and took suo moto cognizance on the issue of contamination of rivers by sewage effluents.

On January 19, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had told the Supreme Court that Delhi government is a habitual offender for causing pollution in Yamuna river.

The CPCB had made submissions before a bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde and comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran during the hearing of a suo moto case pertaining to the issue of remediation of polluted rivers.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the CPCB, contended before the bench that "Delhi is a habitual offender for pollution in Yamuna". Haryana government counsel had said that problem connected with water pollution emerges from Delhi and the Delhi government is wrong on pinning the blame on Haryana.

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, amicus curiae in the matter, submitted before the bench that as on January 18, the water quality is excellent, as the ammonia content is 0.3 ppm, and insisted this can be maintained consistently.

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