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

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal, AAP MP Sanjay Singh and minister Saurabh Bharadwaj were present as Atishi began her fast

Atishi with Saurabh Bharadwaj (photo: PTI)
Atishi with Saurabh Bharadwaj (photo: PTI)


Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi water minister Atishi on Friday began her indefinite hunger strike in south Delhi's Bhogal to press her demand for more water from Haryana.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal, along with AAP MP Sanjay Singh and Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, were present as Atishi began her fast.

Sunita Kejriwal read out a message from the chief minister, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail, in which he expressed hope that Atishi's tapasya (penance) would be successful.

The chief minister said he was immensely pained to watch on TV the plight of people facing water shortage amid the ongoing intense heatwave. "It's our culture to provide water to the thirsty. Delhi gets water from neighbouring states.

"We hoped for support from neighbouring states in such intense heat. But Haryana reduced Delhi's water share. Though there are governments of different parties in the two states, is this the time for politics over water?" he asked in the statement, referring to the BJP government in power in Haryana.

Earlier, Atishi, accompanied by Sunita Kejriwal, Singh, Bharadwaj and other leaders, paid tribute at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat before heading to Bhogal.

There is such intense heat in Delhi and the water requirements of the people have increased. In such times, the people need more water, but there is a shortage. All the water in Delhi comes from its neighbouring states, Atishi said as she began her indefinite fast.

She said her appeal to the Haryana government and a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help did not yield any result, and Delhi was not getting adequate water.

"I am left with no choice now but to start an indefinite hunger strike as I am unable to watch the plight of the men, women and children of Delhi. This indefinite jal satyagraha will continue until Delhi people get water from Haryana," she said.

Delhi gets 1,005 MGD (million gallons per day) of water, but for the last two weeks, Haryana has been releasing 513 MGD instead of 613 MGD to Delhi. More than 28 lakh people face shortage when Haryana stops 100 MGD of water, she said.

Haryana has further reduced the release of Delhi's share from 100 MGD to 120 MGD in the last two days, she claimed.

In the morning, the minister said she would begin her indefinite hunger strike in Bhogal as, despite all efforts, the Haryana government was not releasing the full share of Delhi's water.

"I will start 'Pani Satyagraha' from today... I will start an indefinite fast at Bhogal, Jangpura from 12 o'clock until the people of Delhi get their rightful share of water from Haryana," she said on X earlier in the day.

Delhi is facing an unprecedented heatwave, as a result of which the demand for water has increased.

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