Delhi water crisis: Atishi writes to PM Modi, says will go on indefinite hunger strike

Atishi said Delhi is grappling with a water crisis since Haryana is not releasing the capital's share of water and claimed that over 28 lakh people are affected.
Delhi Minister Atishi addresses a press conference, in New Delhi, Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
Delhi Minister Atishi addresses a press conference, in New Delhi, Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

New Delhi | Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Wednesday said that she has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the water crisis in the national capital and threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike from June 21 if the issue is not resolved within a couple of days.

The BJP slammed Atishi, with its Delhi unit president Virendra Sachdeva accusing her of indulging in "theatrics" to distract attention from theft and black marketeering of water, and demanded that the AAP government be sacked for its "inaction".

Addressing a press conference here, Atishi said Delhi is grappling with a water crisis since Haryana is not releasing the capital's share of water and claimed that over 28 lakh people are affected.

"We have to understand that the total water supply in Delhi is 1,050 MGD. Out of this 1,050 MGD, 613 MGD comes to the Yamuna from Haryana.

"The amount of water that was supposed to come from Haryana yesterday, that is, on June 18, which was 613 MGD, has come down to 513 MGD. This means that Delhi is facing a water shortage of 100 MGD today," she said.

Elaborating on what the 100 MGD water shortage means, she said one MGD water meets the daily water demand of nearly 28,500 people.

"If Delhi is getting 100 MGD less water from Haryana, it means more than 28 lakh people are getting less water. This is the situation of Delhi today," she added.

The minister rued that at a time when Delhiites need more water due to this extreme heat, there is a shortage of water in the national capital.

“Today, I have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and I have requested him that now the suffering of the people of Delhi is crossing all limits.

"Today, 28 lakh people in Delhi did not get water, so I have made this humble request to PM Narendra Modi that he should get water for the people of Delhi, whether he gets it from Haryana or from anywhere, but now he will have to get water for the people of Delhi somehow," she said.

In her letter to the prime minister, Atishi said, she highlighted the plight of Delhiites owing to the unprecedented heat wave and the steps taken by her to resolve the water crisis.

Invoking Hindu scriptures, she wrote in her letter, “It is written in our scriptures that there is no greater virtue than giving water to a thirsty person.”

In the letter, she said that if Delhi does not get water, she will have to do a 'satyagraha' from June 21.

"If by June 21, the people of Delhi do not get water, I will be forced to start a ‘Satyagraha’ for water. I will sit on an indefinite fast from June 21, until the people of Delhi get water," she said.

Atishi said they have written multiple letters to the Haryana government to resolve the issue.

"Yesterday, senior officials of the Delhi government went to meet the Haryana government officers and asked them for water for 28 lakh people of Delhi, but Haryana refused to give water," she said.

The minister said that the population of Delhi is three crore, and the allocated share of water is only 1,050 MGD.

Three crore people also live in Haryana but Haryana's water allocation is 6,500 MGD, she claimed.

"So even if Haryana has to give 100 MGD water to Delhi, it is only 1.5 per cent of its total water. Still, despite our every possible effort, the Haryana government is not giving water to Delhi,” she charged.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said Haryana had provided surplus water to Delhi on Tuesday and Atishi was doing "drama" to hide the AAP government's failure.

"Atishi has now stooped to theatrics to divert attention from theft and black marketing of water. Haryana provided surplus water to Delhi yesterday and there are official documents to prove it but she is now resorting to drama," he charged.

"This government should be sacked," he said alleging the ruling AAP failed to provide water to the people of Delhi.

Delhi Congress chief Devender Yadav said that Atishi should have written the letter to Prime Minister Modi earlier.

The Delhi government should have prepared a good plan involving the availability of water and its distribution, he said.

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