New Delhi suffering water shortages in 109F heat
New Delhi is struggling with an acute water shortage after a neighbouring state cut its supplies at the peak of summer.
6:01PM BST 15 Jun 2012
The sprawling Indian capital, with a population of 16 million sweltering in 109F summer heat, relies on four neighbouring states for its water – Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Haryana, the biggest supplier, cut its flow to the city on Thursday and about three million people have suffered shortages or been completely cut off, according to the Delhi Jal Board, a government agency responsible for water supply.
Some of the capital’s smartest districts are among the affected areas.
“Suddenly, Haryana is refusing to release water to Delhi,” a top Delhi Jal Board official said. “We are struggling at all levels. Every minute we are registering complaints of water shortage. This crisis has left us in a mess.”
Several states across India face major challenges over water supply, triggering long-running legal battles over water sharing.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit accused Haryana, which says it has to conserve water for its own residents, of “playing foul” with the capital.
“We are not asking for any favours. We want what is due to us,” she said.
In the peak of summer, New Delhi needs 1,100 million gallons of water every day, according to the Delhi Jal Board, but public water providers are able to only supply 835 million gallons.