Water crisis in Delhi: Kejriwal seeks BJP's help; LG blames AAP govt for 'mismanagement'

As several parts of Delhi continued to reel under water crises on Friday amid an intense heatwave, Lt Governor V K Saxena accused the AAP government of "mismanagement" and alleged that it has become their habit to blame others for their "inefficiency", "inability" and "inaction".
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor V K Saxena
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor V K Saxena

New Delhi | As several parts of Delhi continued to reel under water crises on Friday amid an intense heatwave, Lt Governor V K Saxena accused the AAP government of "mismanagement" and alleged that it has become their habit to blame others for their "inefficiency", "inability" and "inaction".

Saxena recited a 200-year-old couplet by Mirza Ghalib, 'Umra bhar Ghalib yehi bhool karta raha, dhool chehre par thi aur aaina saaf karta raha', and slammed the AAP dispensation for blaming other states for the current situation.

Scenes of desperation were visible in several parts of Delhi where people even resorted to fighting and using abusive language as they waited for their turns in queues to get water from the tankers. Similar scenes were visible on Thursday as well.

Meanwhile, a political blame-game erupted between the AAP and the BJP with both the parties holding each other responsible for the worsening situation in the national capital.

Even as the national capital is facing a severe water shortage, Water Minister Atishi accused the BJP-led Haryana government of not releasing Delhi's share of water.

On the other side, the opposition BJP staged a protest against the AAP government on Friday and alleged that the water crisis in Delhi is "not natural" but was created by the "corruption and mismanagement" of the Arvind Kejriwal government.

The Delhi government moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Haryana to release surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to the parched national capital for urgent mitigation of its water woes compounded by scorching heat.

The plea, filed by Atishi, has made the Centre, BJP-governed Haryana and Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh parties to the petition and said access to water is essential for the survival and is one of the basic human rights.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday urged the BJP to ask its governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide water to the national capital for a month, saying it was not the time to indulge in politics.

Atishi appealed to the BJP not to indulge in "dirty politics" and instead ask its governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to release spare water to the national capital, which is grappling with a severe water crisis amid the ongoing heat wave.

"Delhi is grappling with severe heat wave and water shortages. The BJP is indulging in dirty politics at this time. I want to ask the BJP when there is a crisis, is this the time to indulge in politics? Shouldn't we come together?" she said.

"There are BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. This is the time to come together. This is the time to appeal to your governments in the two states to give extra water to Delhi," the water minister added.

On Thursday, Atishi wrote to the Centre to ensure a provision for the release of spare water from either Uttar Pradesh or Haryana to address the national capital's "unprecedented water crisis".

In a letter to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Atishi said there has been a drastic dip in the water level at the Wazirabad barrage during the last few days as Haryana is not releasing the required quantity in the Yamuna.

Later in the day, Lt Governor Saxena issued a video statement, slamming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's "mismanagement" for the water crisis.

He also alleged that despite "thousands of crores of rupees being spent by the Delhi government in the last 10 years, old pipelines could neither be repaired nor replaced". There was no immediate reaction from the AAP government.

"For the last few days, the extremely irresponsible attitude of Delhi government is being witnessed. Women, children, elderly and young men today in Delhi are seen risking their lives and running after tankers for a bucket of water.

"Perhaps no one would have imagined that such heart-wrenching scenes would be seen in the country's capital. But, the government is blaming other states for its failures," he said.

People across areas are being seen scrambling with empty buckets to water tankers, some even jumping the queue to get to the top of them to fill their vessel.

"I regret to say that in the last 10 years, to hide its inefficiency, inaction and inability, it has become the habit of the Delhi government to blame others for its every failure and avoid their responsibilities and keep misleading the public through social media, press conferences and by filing court cases.

"This shortage of water in Delhi is solely the result of mismanagement by the government," Saxena said.

Subsequently, the AAP issued a statement in response to Saxena's remarks.

"Once again, the Delhi LG is playing cheap and dirty politics with the people of Delhi. Every time Delhi faces a crisis, it is only the Kejriwal government that looks for solutions while the LG resorts to playing dirty politics," the statement said.

"It is clear that he is an outsider who has no interest in the welfare of Delhi or Delhiites. We do not feel it necessary or appropriate to fight with him on every issue," the AAP statement added.

Earlier on Friday, the BJP staged a protest at Shaheed Park near ITO over the issue and blamed the the "corruption" of Kejriwal government for the crisis and demanded his resignation along with that of Atishi.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said the water crisis in Delhi is "not natural" but is created by the "corruption and mismanagement of Kejriwal".

Residents in several areas of Delhi continued lining up with their plastic containers, anxiously waiting for the water tankers.

Vibha Devi, a resident of Geeta Colony, shared her plight. "I stand in line from 4 am, but due to the crowd, I can't reach the water tanker... It's hard to get water," she rued.

Asked whether she manages to get water, she said, "Sometimes we get water, sometimes we don't. When we don't, we have to buy it from outside and use it sparingly."

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