Lashing out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the state of Yamuna, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shehzad Poonawalla said the ruling party had failed to deliver his promise of cleaning the river.
The Haryana government termed the claim of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that the discharge from the Hathnikund barrage in the state is responsible for rise in water level of the Yamuna baseless and factually incorrect.
An advisor (irrigation) to the Chief Minister Haryana, Devender Singh, said on Thursday that the Delhi chief minister’s claim that Yamuna water level has risen due to the release of surplus water from the Hathnikund Barrage is absolutely false.
“It appears that his (Kejriwal’s) officers did not inform him about the accurate details. The letter written by Kejriwal to the Union home minister (saying a limited quantity of water should be released from the Hathnikund barrage so that the water level of the Yamuna does not increase further) in this regard holds no significance,” he said.
Singh said the structure at Hathnikund is a barrage designed to divert the water. “Only a dam, not a barrage, can control water in limited quantities. It is also worth noting that, following the Central Water Commission’s recommendations, the water discharged into the Yamuna River for the protection of the Hathnikund barrage, is the water which is constantly coming from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to excessive rains, he informed.
Singh said due to this water, land erosion and water-logging have occurred in Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonipat, due to which Haryana has to bear a heavy loss of life and property. “If there was any option to release water in limited quantities, it would have been in the interest of Haryana state also,” he added.
Hathnikund Barrage is a barrage located in Yamunanagar on the Yamuna River. This barrage was built between 1998 and 2000 to replace the earlier Tajewala Barrage. The structure barrage located at Hathnikund supplies to the partner states as per the 1994 agreement.
Singh said the Hathnikund Barrage was designed by the Central Water Commission (CWC). “There is no way to store water in this barrage. According to the guidelines of the CWC, when more than one lakh cusecs of water come into it, the water automatically goes into the Yamuna River. If an attempt is made to stop the water coming into the barrage, it can damage all the gates of the barrage and this water can turn into a fierce flood and cause huge destruction in Haryana and Delhi,” he added.
The water level in the swollen Yamuna in Delhi rose further during the night, flooding homes, affecting public transport and prompting emergency measures.