New Delhi, Mar 13 (PTI) Taking note of wastage of water supplied by Haryana to Delhi through a sub-branch canal as it needs repairs, the high court has directed both the states to take steps to carry out repair work immediately.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Delhi government to release forthwith the amount sanctioned for the repairs after Haryana said the entire process of awarding tender for the work will be completed in a month after getting the money.
The order came after the court was told that under the Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) between the two governments, repairs to the canal will be undertaken by Haryana and the cost will be borne by the Delhi government.
The court asked amicus curiae and senior advocate Rakesh Khanna to inspect the canal and submit his report before the next date of hearing on May 2.
While passing the directions, the bench asked the Haryana government to ensure it is releasing the entire quantity of water that it is required to do according to the MoU and earlier court orders.
During the hearing, Haryana claimed that the Delhi government owed it over Rs 280 crore in arrears and it cannot carry out repairs till payment for it is received.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), opposed Haryana’s contention on arrears and said that funds for repair work of Delhi sub branch canal has been sanctioned.
The amicus told the bench that the entire quantity of water, according to MoU and court orders, was not being released by Haryana.
According to the MoU and earlier court orders, Haryana has to release 719 cusecs of water per day in the Munak canal and 330 cusecs per day in the Delhi sub branch canal, the court was told.
The 102-km long Munak canal was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 400 crore from the Delhi government on the condition that the national capital will be supplied water from it.
Assuring Haryana, that it will get the arrears owed to it, the bench asked it to ensure compliance with the MoU and earlier court orders.
It also sought the response of Delhi government on Haryana’s plea that the high court here does not have jurisdiction to deal with this matter.
The court was hearing a plea filed by advocate S B Tripathi, who has said the population in Delhi was increasing each day, but the raw water available to the city was the same or decreasing.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.