Delhi Jal Board Vice-Chairman Saurabh Bhardwaj inspected the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant (WTP) on Tuesday as the water level in the Yamuna River continues to fall.
Saurabh Bhardwaj said during the inspection that the water level in Yamuna had witnessed an unprecedented decrease. The condition of Yamuna today is usually seen in the months of April and May in Delhi.
Saurabh Bhardwaj informed that this time the water level of Yamuna near Wazirabad Barrage has suddenly gone down to 671.7 feet in the month of February itself. He said that the normal level of Yamuna River at Wazirabad Barrage should be 674.5 feet.
He further informed that the depth of Yamuna here should be 3.5 feet, but presently it's even less than 1 foot. The water level and depth of the Yamuna are measured from the sea level. Saurabh Bhardwaj said that out of the present water level of 671.7 feet, Yamuna is silted up to 671 feet at Wazirabad Barrage, which means that the water depth is mere 0.7 feet.
He also said the depth of Yamuna should be at least 3.5 feet which allows the offtake of raw water from Yamuna for the Water Treatment Plant. Visible water of Yamuna at the barrage is also not actually water from the Yamuna but actually the industrial waste released by Haryana that cannot be treated.Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that the key reason for the water level decrease in Yamuna is not rising temperatures but the rampant illegal sand mining being done indiscriminately in the Yamuna river in the state of Haryana. The sand mafia had stopped the Yamuna water released for Delhi in an area of about 7-8 km from Yamuna Nagar that lies in Haryana, where the sand mafia is indiscriminately mining sand in the Yamuna River.
During the inspection, Saurabh Bhardwaj addressed the media and said that the Yamuna water, which is presently visible near Wazirabad Barrage, is not the actual Yamuna water but industrial waste which is being released from Haryana.
He referred to images from Google Maps and satellite imagery to show that there is no water in Yamuna. The flow that is reaching Delhi is coming from two drains. Industrial waste is constantly being released into Yamuna by Haryana through DD2 and DD8 drains.
"Apart from hazardous chemical elements in this industrial waste, the ammonia level is also way higher than the prescribed limits. The excessive ammonia disallows the visible water to get treated in the Water Treatment Plants. Previously also, Haryana had released industrial waste, but due to the sufficient amount of water in Yamuna, water could be treated."Water production in the water treatment plants of Wazirabad and Chandrawal, the two major treatment plants of Delhi, which are dependent on Yamuna water, have been badly affected due to the decrease in water level in Yamuna and the increase in the ammonia content.
The Wazirabad plant produces 131 MGD of water on a daily basis helping the water supply in Delhi. Now, due to the shortage of water in the Yamuna, this plant is producing just 82.69 MGD of water. Similarly, the Chandrawal plant has a capacity of 100 MGD of water per day, but this plant is producing only 78 MGD.
Saurabh Bhardwaj informed that water has to be diverted from the Haiderpur Plant to run these plants, which has affected the Haiderpur plant's own capacity. These Water Treatment Plants supply water to 40 per cent of Delhi. This means that at present, about 40 per cent part of Delhi is affected due to water supply shortages.
The falling water levels in Yamuna have reduced the production of water in Delhi's water treatment plants considerably. The impact of the reduction in water production is clearly visible in Delhi's water supply. Many areas of Delhi are witnessing a water crisis, and people are facing water-related challenges. Saurabh Bhardwaj said that this water supply crisis could also affect the Lutyens Delhi, which will include Central Government Offices, Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi Chief Minister's office.
Areas that get water supply through the plant include Delhi University, Vijayanagar, Timarpur, Old Secretariat, Civil Lines, Naya Bazar, Lahori Gate, Peeli Kothi, Barfkhana, Malka Ganj, Jhandewalan, Patparganj, Motia Khan, WA, Pusa Road, Rajendra Nagar, Karol Bagh, Central Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament, India Gate, Vigyan Bhawan, Janpath, Rakabganj, North Avenue, NDMC Area, East Patel Nagar, Baba Faridpur, New Rajendra Nagar, Double Storey, South Patel Nagar, Cantonment areas, RK Puram, Vasant Vihar, Akbar Road, Sarojini Nagar etc. are areas where water supply will be affected. On the other hand, the area that will be impacted by the Wazirabad plant includes Modi Colony, Defense Colony, Majnu Ka Tila, Moolchand Hospital, Sundernagar, Rajghat, Subhash Park, Ramlila Ground, Delhi Gate, Daryaganj, ISBT, Timarpur, Gulabi Bagh, Bharat Nagar, Punjabi Bagh, Mukherjee Nagar, Hudson Lane, Model Town, Azadpur Mandi, Jahangirpuri, Shalimar Bagh, Lawrence Road, Wazirabad, Burari, Gopalpuri etc. that will face water supply problems.
Saurabh Bhardwaj said that there is a need to take necessary steps immediately to control this water crisis, otherwise, it will become very difficult to control it. This is not a crisis for any political party but for the entire Delhi, and the BJP should not rejoice in this crisis.
Saurabh Bhardwaj appealed to the people to play Holi with raw colours instead of colours that come with lots of chemicals, as it takes a lot of water to cleanse them. He said that the water crisis is so big that people may not have to go to their offices without cleaning the Holi colours for many days. Saurabh Bhardwaj accused the Haryana Government of ignoring the illegal sand mining which is rampant in Yamuna in Haryana. He raised questions at the Haryana government about how the sand mafia is carrying out sand mining on such a large scale in the Yamuna, and the Government of Haryana remains unaware of it.
He said that the Delhi Government had brought this matter to the notice of the Haryana Government and had demanded the Haryana Government take strict action against the sand mafia. Strict action should also be taken against the officials who are hand-in-glove with the sand mafia in Delhi region also. He asked the Lieutenant Governor to suspend such corrupt officials as Delhi Government didn't have the authority to suspend such officials.
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