Delhi needs Tajinder Khanna plan to deal with water woes

Delhi BJP Virendra Sachdeva holds protests against water crisis

Image credit X @Virend_Sachdeva

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Delhi water crisis deepens for lack of long-term plan

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, June 21: Delhi is battling acute water crisis. To share the burden of the crisis, even the VIP areas of the national capital are getting one-time water supply.

Delhi’s water woes came close on the heels of the intense heatwave sweeping through the northern parts of the country. Delhi government accused Haryana for not releasing the share of the national capital.

Delhi Minister Atishi on Friday began her indefinite fast to protest against the Haryana government for not releasing the water share of the national capital.

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Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has been holding protests for days against the intense water crisis. Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva has blamed the city government for the water crisis.

Delhi is dependent on Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for the water supply. The national capital sources Yamuna water from Haryana, as well as Ganga water from Uttarakhand.

Parts of Delhi have been dependent on water tankers for decades. The situation has only worsened. Now, more areas of the national capital are dependent on water tankers.

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Not long ago, former lieutenant governor of Delhi Tajinder Khanna had prepared a blueprint to address the water shortage issue of the national capital on a permanent and sustainable basis.

In his second stint, from 2007, as the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Khanna had drawn an action plan to address water woes of the national capital. The plan involved creating a water reservoir in Himachal Pradesh at the full cost borne by the Delhi government.

Khanna plan also sought physical cleaning of the Yamuna River stretch in the national capital. It sought fulsome solid waste removed from the Yamuna stretch in Delhi.

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The plan was incumbent on reviving the Yamuna River in entirety. This would have been made possible by blocking all untreated sewage flow into Yamuna.

The plan, if executed fully, would have ensured revival of Yamuna in Delhi, while also ensuring flow of water in the river all days.

Khanna was a close associate of the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. Yet, his stint in Delhi coincided with a tug of war with the city chief minister, Sheila Dikshit.

The plan remained on paper. The office of the LG and the CM worked in silos. The city government stayed with incremental approach of building the Sewage Treatment Plant (STPs).

Afterwards, the water shortage issue lacked the attention of the government. With the advent of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the city government came into adversarial relations with the Centre.

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