Delhi water crisis: Atishi begins fast for additional water from Haryana

Atishi was accompanied by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita, and senior AAP leaders at the protest site in Bhogal.
Delhi Minister Atishi with AAP MP Sanjay Singh, Sunita Kejriwal and other party leaders.
Delhi Minister Atishi with AAP MP Sanjay Singh, Sunita Kejriwal and other party leaders.Photo | Shekhar yadav, EPS

NEW DELHI: With the capital reeling from water crisis, water minister Atishi on Friday went on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding Haryana release additional water into the Yamuna, which she claims is “being held” by the neighbouring state and is the “reason for the scarcity”.

“Delhi should get 1,005 MGD (million gallons per day) water daily. Of this, Haryana gives 613 MGD, but for the last two weeks, Haryana has only given 513 MGD water. I made every possible effort to get Delhi’s rightful share of water, but the BJP government of Haryana denied all requests.

In this regard, I also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi and requested him to get water from the Haryana government; but I still need to get the relief. That is why I had to sit on an indefinite hunger strike,” the minister said.

Atishi was accompanied by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita, and senior AAP leaders at the protest site in Bhogal.

Delhi has been in the grip of a severe water crisis for over a month and is grappling with the situation amid the scorching heat. The worst affected are the resettlement colonies and slums. The AAP-led Delhi government has squarely blamed Haryana for the crisis, accusing it of withholding water meant for Delhi. The BJP-led government in Haryana, however, has vehemently denied these allegations.

Delhi Minister Atishi with AAP MP Sanjay Singh, Sunita Kejriwal and other party leaders.
Delhi water crisis: AAP accuses Haryana government of ignoring SC’s order on release

Stating that Delhi has no source of water and is dependent on the neighbouring states, Atishi said due to scorching heat, the demand for water has increased when the availability is already low.

‘Minister hiding failures’

In response to Atishi’s hunger strike, the Delhi BJP has criticised the AAP for its handling of the water crisis. It argues that the AAP has failed to address the issue and is now attempting to divert attention by staging a ‘satyagraha’.

“Atishi as a water minister has failed. It was clear since February that Delhi would endure a long summer, but she made no preparations. When Delhi’s summer action plan needed to be prepared, Atishi was busy giving statements about Kejriwal’s arrest and then his custody,” BJP MP Bansuri Swaraj said.

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