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Delhi: No extra water supply from UP, Himachal Pradesh; Haryana not keen too

Initially, the national capital had planned to give 140 million gallons a day (MGD) of treated wastewater in exchange for freshwater from Uttar Pradesh. (AP)Premium
Initially, the national capital had planned to give 140 million gallons a day (MGD) of treated wastewater in exchange for freshwater from Uttar Pradesh. (AP)

  • Delhi utilizes about 90 MGD of treated wastewater for horticulture in parks and forests, irrigation, and DTC depots. Further, the city is obligated to release 267 MGD of treated wastewater into the Yamuna for maintaining the environmental flow

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Delhi's water requirements have taken a blow as neighbouring states Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have backed out from the plans to give extra water to the national capital. Also, Haryana has shown no interest in pursuing a water exchange proposal with the capital.

As per officials in a PTI report, proposals involving Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were being pursued since 2019. The two states pulled out around six to eight months ago.

Initially, the national capital had planned to give 140 million gallons a day (MGD) of treated wastewater in exchange for freshwater from Uttar Pradesh.

The officials revealed that Uttar Pradesh had stated that it could share 270 cusecs of water from the Ganga through the Murad Nagar regulator and Delhi had promised to release an equal amount of treated wastewater to UP from Okhla for irrigation purposes.

However, after multiple meetings and field inspections, UP dropped the idea around six months ago, the officials said.

They pointed out that the Centre was in favor of the proposal but Uttar Pradesh denied it. Adding that UP did not give any reason for backing out.

Meanwhile, the capital was also in talks with Haryana deliberations on a proposal to share 20 MGD of treated wastewater for irrigation through Jaunti and Auchandi regulators instead of freshwater through Carrier Lined Canal (CLC) and Delhi Sub Branch (DSB).

In the report, the official said that Haryana has not agreed to the proposal yet but the chances are very slim of it happening now.

Another official told in the report that the water exchange proposal with Haryana is pending at the level of the Upper Yamuna River Board.

At present, the capital generates about 770 MGD of wastewater. Notably, the 34 sewage treatment plants located at 20 locations across the city treat up to 570 MGD of sewage.

Delhi utilizes about 90 MGD of treated wastewater for horticulture in parks and forests, irrigation, and DTC depots. Further, the city is obligated to release 267 MGD of treated wastewater into the Yamuna for maintaining the environmental flow.

Earlier, in December 2019, an MoU was signed with Himachal Pradesh to sell its share of Yamuna water to Delhi at 21 crore per annum. Under the agreement, water had to be delivered from Tajewala (in Haryana's Yamuna Nagar district) to Delhi.

Himachal Pradesh receives a 3% share of Yamuna water as per the multi-state agreement signed in 1994. This share has been unclaimed since then.

As per another official, it was Haryana who first opposed Himachal Pradesh's plan to sell its share of Yamuna water to Delhi. Haryana stated that its "canals did not have the capacity to carry extra water from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi.

Following this, Himachal Pradesh backed out of the agreement around six months ago also during the same time as UP.

Currently, Haryana delivers a total of 610 million gallons of water a day to the national capital from its two canals namely CLC (368 MGD) and DSB (177), and the Yamuna (65 MGD). Also, UP supplies 253 MGD to Delhi through the Upper Ganga Canal, and 90 MGD is drawn from Ranney wells and tube wells installed across the city.

It is said that Delhi needs around 1,200 MGD of water, while the DJB supplies around 950 MGD.

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