New Delhi, Mar 25 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today directed the Punjab government and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) to maintain status quo till tomorrow on the water supply to Delhi.
The order was passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde on an application filed by the Delhi Jal Board, stating that Punjab was going to close certain canal gates for repair works, which will cut down the water supply to Delhi by at least 25 percent.
Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for DJB, said that such repair works should not be done during March-April, when the water demand is at its peak on account of summer. The Advocate added that DJB had written at least six letters to the Punjab authorities requesting them to postpone the repair works to winter, but they did not show the ‘basic courtesy’ of even responding to the letters. At this juncture, the bench agreed to issue notice on the application returnable by tomorrow.
Then, Advocate Gautam Narayan, the instructing counsel for the DJB, informed the bench that Punjab authorities were yet to close the canal gates, and hence prayed for an order, directing the maintenance of status quo. The bench agreed to order the status quo and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.
“Respondents are directed to maintain status quo regarding the supply of water to Delhi,” ordered the bench, which included Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramaniam.
The application was filed in an earlier writ petition filed by the DJB, alleging that Haryana Government was allowing the discharge of untreated effluents of Yamuna river, resulting in the drinking water supply to Delhi getting polluted. ILNS/SNG/RJ