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Judiciary

'We are back to square one,' SC asks Delhi to approach UYRB for extra water [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      13 June, 2024 03:27 PM      0 Comments
We are back to square one SC asks Delhi to approach UYRB for extra water

NEW DELHI: "We are back to square one," the Supreme Court on Thursday said on water crisis in Delhi as it found that its previous order to Himachal Pradesh to release 137 cusecs water was based on "incorrect statement" by the Congress government in the hill state.

Also Read - 'Can't pass order on the basis of newspaper reports,' SC castigates Delhi govt on failure to remove defects in WP on water issue

A bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale asked Himachal Pradesh, "How can you make a casual statement on such a serious and sensitive matter, you do not understand repercussion of your statement." 

Himachal Pradesh Advocate General sought apology and withdrew the statement made on June 6, resulting into an order by the top court.

"In view of the statement made by Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh, the very basis of our interim order of June 6 does not survive, and we have reached square one to the stage where we were placed before," the bench said.

The court told the Delhi government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board, a technical body with its plea for a direction to Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to supply additional water on humanitarian ground to the national capital, facing under water shortage due to severe heatwave conditions. 

The court noted the very basis of its order passed on June 6 to Himachal Pradesh to supply 137 cusecs of water does not survive as an "incorrect statement" was made on availability of extra water.

Also Read - Delhi govt moves SC seeking more water from Haryana, UP & HP

The court said Himachal Pradesh officers may be hauled up for contempt. It, however, allowed the state to withdraw its statement made previously before the top court that it can supply additional 137 cusecs of water to Delhi.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Haryana and Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee for Upper Yamuna River Board submitted that the issue can be resolved by Board as the court does not have necessary expertise on the subject.

"Issue is complex and sensitive this court does not have expertise to decide even on interim basis. The matter can be considered by the body constituted by MoU between the parties in 1994," the bench said.

The bench said if such an application is made by Delhi, UYRB shall convene a meeting on Friday and call the parties and take a decision at the earliest.

The court disposed of the writ petition filed by Delhi government through its Minister Aatishi, who continued to mount pressure on Haryana accusing it of failing to supply adequate water to the national capital.

Also Read -  Supreme Court asks Stakeholder States to discuss to address Delhi's demand for more water

 

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