Delhi Water Crisis | Dont’ take us for granted: SC slams Delhi govt

- June 10, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

During the hearing today, the Court at the outset took strong objection to the Delhi government's failure to remove defects in its petition

Supreme Court

Delhi Water Crisis: The Supreme Court on Monday reprimanded the Delhi government for not addressing defects in its plea, which sought a directive for Haryana to release surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to alleviate Delhi’s water crisis.

A vacation bench of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Prasanna B Varale noted that the affidavits were not being accepted due to the petition’s defects.

The court expressed frustration, stating, “Why have you not cured the defect? We will dismiss the petition. On the last date also this was pointed out and you did not remove the defect. Don’t take the court proceedings for granted, however important your case may be.”

Also Read: Water crisis leaves Capital parched

The bench emphasised, “Never take us for granted. Filings are not being accepted. You hand over a series of documents in court and then say you are suffering a deficit of water and want an order today itself. You are raising grounds of urgency but sitting leisurely. Let everything come on record. We will take it the day after tomorrow,” adjourning the matter to June 12.

The court insisted on reviewing the files before the hearing, indicating concern over media reports potentially influencing proceedings. “If we don’t read the files at our residential office, we will be influenced by whatever the newspapers are reporting. That is not good for any of the parties,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Haryana, submitted the state’s reply, but the court questioned its timing. Divan explained that due to defects in Delhi’s plea, pre-filing of the reply was not allowed by the registry.

The Delhi government’s counsel later claimed the defects were rectified.

Previously, the Supreme Court had described the acute drinking water shortage in Delhi as an “existential problem” and directed Himachal Pradesh to release 137 cusecs of surplus water to Delhi, with Haryana facilitating its flow. The court emphasized the need to avoid politicizing water issues.

Himachal Pradesh had agreed to release the surplus water, and the court directed the release to ensure it reaches Delhi via the Hathnikund barrage.

The Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB), established in 1995, was tasked with measuring the excess water for Delhi. The UYRB’s primary function is to regulate water allocation among beneficiary states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi.

The court had previously ordered an emergent meeting of the UYRB on June 5 to address the issue. (With inputs from PTI)