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Desperate Delhi residents battle water shortage

The relentless heatwave has not only made life unbearable but has also intensified the city’s water woes.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: June 7, 2024, 06:09 AM - 3 mins read

Residents collect drinking water from a tanker amid ongoing water crisis in a locality in the national capital.

Desperate Delhi residents battle water shortage

Residents collect drinking water from a tanker amid ongoing water crisis in a locality in the national capital.


As winter fades and summer sets in, Om Lata of Sangam Vihar dreads the familiar struggle. Battling neighbors for water from tankers, Lata’s plight is shared by countless Delhi residents, as the capital faces an acute water shortage.

 

The relentless heatwave has not only made life unbearable but has also intensified the city’s water woes.

 

Lata, residing in L Block of Sangam Vihar, highlights the desperation, saying they must buy water for all basic needs – drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

 

“How can a family survive like this?” she questions. “Every summer, the thought of it haunts us because we don’t have water to drink. People fight in queues when the tanker arrives because everyone needs water for their families.”

 

The severity of the situation means that even dirty water is not discarded, she adds. Gajendra Pratap from Geeta Colony echoes Lata’s concerns. He points out that the water scarcity has been a perennial issue in Delhi, worsening each summer.

 

Despite efforts by the Delhi government to supply water through tankers, the demand far outstrips the supply.

 

“The tanker arrives at 7 am and runs out of water by 7:30 am,” Pratap notes. With children at home during summer vacations, the need for water is even more pressing. People, even those struggling to afford food, are forced to buy water, he laments.

 

Sangam Vihar, with its dense population, is among the hardest hit. The dire conditions have left many, especially women in L Block and K Second Block, frustrated and desperate.

 

In L Block, women like Lata wait outside their homes, vying to be the first to collect water from the Delhi Jal Board tanker. Sunita, another resident, shares her frustration. “If you need water, you have to buy it. Surviving the summer with just one or two buckets of water daily is impossible, especially with children at home.”

 

A single tanker costs Rs 3,000, and even after paying, the wait is long. Sunita expresses her exasperation at the government’s inaction. “In this heat, people are falling sick, and we don’t even have water to drink.”

 

The water crisis has been exacerbated by accusations between the Delhi government and Haryana. Delhi accuses Haryana of not releasing its fair share of water.

 

This issue has reached such a critical point that the Supreme Court has intervened, describing the shortage as an “existential problem” for Delhi.

 

The court has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to release 137 cusecs of surplus water to the national capital and Haryana to facilitate its flow.

 

Earlier on Friday, Delhi Water Minister Atishi visited the Wazirabad barrage to assess the situation.

 

She warned that even with the release of water from Himachal Pradesh, the shortage would persist as Haryana has “reduced” Delhi’s share.

 

Atishi accused Haryana of conspiring against Delhi’s residents behind the Supreme Court’s back.

 

“The water level of the Yamuna at Wazirabad has fallen from 671 feet on June 2 to 669.7 feet on Friday. With such low levels, how will the water treatment plants supply water to the people of Delhi?” she questioned.

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