Delhi to penalize excessive water use amid severe heatwave

Delhi to penalize excessive water use amid severe heatwave

Delhi residents washing cars with hoses may soon face fines as the city tackles a severe water crisis amid scorching temperatures.

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Delhi’s Water Minister, Atishi, warned on Tuesday that using hoses to wash cars or allowing water tanks to overflow may soon result in fines. This comes as Delhi battles extreme heat, with temperatures soaring to 49.9 degrees Celsius in some areas.

Atishi also accused Haryana of withholding Delhi’s share of water since May 1. If the situation doesn’t improve, she said Delhi would approach the Supreme Court.

In a clear sign of Delhi’s worsening water crisis, Atishi urged residents to conserve water. “Today, I saw water flowing in the driveways of South Delhi due to car washing. My appeal is for everyone to stop wasting water. If this continues, we may need to start issuing fines for excessive water use. But for now, this is just an appeal,” she stated in a press conference.

The government has decided to ration the water supply across the city. “To manage water scarcity, we are reducing water supply from twice a day to once a day in many areas. The saved water will be redirected to areas where the supply lasts only 15 to 20 minutes a day,” Atishi explained.

Delhi, along with parts of Central and Northwest India, is experiencing a severe heatwave. Temperatures reached 49.9 degrees Celsius at weather stations in Mungeshpur and Narela. Aya Nagar and Ridge near Delhi University also saw record highs of 47.6 degrees Celsius and 47.5 degrees Celsius, respectively. At Safdarjung, the main weather station, the temperature hit 45.8 degrees Celsius, the highest this season and since May 2020.

Acknowledging the challenges this situation poses, Atishi emphasized the need for collective effort. “We must not only think of ourselves but stand together and think of everyone. We are in a difficult situation with Haryana stopping our water supply. Please cooperate and use water wisely,” she urged.

She accused Haryana of not releasing Delhi’s allocated water since May 1. “The Yamuna water level at Wazirabad has dropped from 674.5 feet on May 1 to 669.8 feet today. Last year, the minimum level was 674.6 feet. Without sufficient water from Haryana, our water treatment plants slow down,” Atishi said, adding that if the issue persists, Delhi will seek intervention from the Supreme Court.

Delhi relies on Haryana for 64% of its water and Uttar Pradesh for 26.5%, according to the latest economic survey. The city’s daily water requirement is 1,290 million gallons (MGD). On May 24, the Delhi Jal Board announced water production had increased to nearly 1,000 MGD, but summer reports show an average of 980 MGD since May 11.