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Haryana shocker: Munak water not for Delhi’s use

The Haryana Irrigation Department (HID) has once again stunned Delhi, claiming that the capital is not going to get any extra water from the Munak canal project. It has also alleged that work on the canal has been stalled as Delhi has not acquired land for the last 600 metres of the channel.

Delhi government is expecting around 80 MGD extra water after the project is complete and is in the process of constructing three plants to treat this water. It claims it has paid Haryana Rs 320 crore for the project.

On Monday, HID officials claimed there had been a serious delay on the part of Delhi authorities in acquiring land for the channel. An MoU had been signed between the two states in 1993 and work on the canal had been started in May 2003 with the promise that it would be completed in 27 months.

HID claimed “it is erroneous on the part of Delhi to claim the so-called savings from the construction of the canal” as “not a drop out of any savings shall be given” and Delhi “should not waste its resources, if it is constructing any treatment plant on this presumption”.

While Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials confirmed they were in the process of land acquisition for the channel, there were several other areas where canal work had not been completed. “The total length of the canal from Munak in Haryana to Wazirabad is 102km.

Haryana has failed to complete large parts of the canal even in its jurisdiction so it is wrong to say that the delay had happened because of us. And the 1993 MoU clearly spells out that Delhi will get whatever is saved from the canal. Why does Haryana think we are spending so much money on it,” said a DJB official.

As per a Supreme Court ruling, Haryana is required to supply as much water to Delhi as is needed to maintain the Wazirabad pond level at 674.5 feet.

En route losses at present are about 30% and by Haryana’s own admission, they will come down to about 5% once the Munak canal is operational. Assuming that 80 MGD water will be extra, Delhi will divert 40 MGD for Dwarka and 20 MGD each for the Bawana and Okhla plants.

Haryana government has also raised objection to the Okhla treatment plant and the Wazirabad-Okhla pipeline, saying they are not legal and construction has been undertaken without intimation to either Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) or Yamuna Standing Committee.

It has said that if work on these two is not stopped, Haryana will reduce supply to Wazirabad. Delhi officials, meanwhile, claim otherwise and say the construction on the plant started only after intimating UYRB.

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