New Delhi, May 7 | The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) plea against the Haryana government in connection with the shortage of water supply to the national capital, and asked it to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board.
A three-judge bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian granted liberty to the DJB to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board, with their prayer relating to allocation of water to Delhi. It asked the board to consider the representation made by the DJB, clarifying that the top court is not expressing any opinion on merits of the case.
The observations were made by the top court during the hearing of an application by the DJB seeking directions to the Punjab and Haryana governments to stop the discharge of untreated pollutants causing rise of ammonia levels into the Yamuna river, and also ensure there is enough supply of water from Haryana side to the national capital.
At the beginning of the matter, the top court informed the DJB’s counsel that it has seen the committee’s report.
“If you want us to pass an order on merits which may not be in your interest, we will hear you, otherwise we’d suggest please go to the Upper Yamuna River Board and make your suggestions. If you still insist, we will hear you and pass orders.”
The DJB has maintained that shortage in water supply may affect supply to hospitals. and urged the top court to fix a specific timeline in which the board may decide their grievance, preferably within 10 days, as beyond that, there may be difficulty. The counsel insisted that there is a genuine problem of water in the national capital and the top court could at least direct that Haryana side should provide whatever maximum they can provide.
At this, the top court responded: “Whatever they have to, they are providing, and they are providing more according to the report.”
During the hearing, the bench noted that the DJB should go to the monitoring body and make a request to it. “You can’t keep coming here and telling us there is no water in Delhi. You asked us to appoint a committee, and we did. The ground reality appears to be different,” it noted.