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Explained: How Does Haryana’s Mining Impact Delhi’s Water Flow

Posted on March 22, 2023

Illegal sand mining in Haryana has caused a water crisis in Delhi. The crisis hit areas of Delhi, including North, South, and Central, revealed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). This year’s February has logged the warmest February in Delhi, and the results are already to be seen. However, the water crisis is not due to the early arrival of summer but due to the ongoing dredging activities in Haryana, which the Haryana government has continued to deny.

The Vice Chairperson of DJB, Saurabh Bhardwaj, revealed that the water levels had decreased in February. The current water levels are usually the case in May. However, this year, there has been a dip in Yamuna’s level from February onwards. This has led to a water supply crisis in Delhi. The statement came out after the water level inspection was made at the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant.

Satellite Images to Prove the Claims

Satellite images show that there has been a significant increase in dredging activities near the banks of Yamuna. Around 32 locations in Haryana have been identified, including Yamunanagar and Sonepat. Removing sediments and debris from the banks of Yamuna has not only led to a dip in Yamuna’s water level but has also impoverished the water quality.

Studies show that sand mining leads to water quality degradation by affecting water’s chemical parameters. Due to a decrease in the chemical parameters, it destroys a number of acquatic animals and micro-organisms, essential for maintaining the water quality and also affects groundwater recharge. Furthermore, sand mining also leads to eroded river banks, which change the river channels, often resulting in a decreased water flow.

The images further reveal the development of illegal check dams and bunds used to stop the water flow.

Drain Water Supply in Delhi?

Further findings of the satellite images highlight the release of industrial waste from Panipat and Sonepat drains into the Yamuna, which has resulted in a 3.5 ppm of ammonia level in Yamuna. Bhardwaj claims that pollution is another factor affecting the water crisis. He also believes Delhi is supplied with drain water, and the Yamuna water share has decreased from 40% to 5%.

What does the Haryana Government have to Say?

The Haryana government, however, rejected all the allegations. According to the Haryana government, sand mining is legal per government policies. Further, the Haryana government claims that the water supply is excessive to the water sharing agreement for Delhi.

However, the satellite images and DJB’s allegation show a different case altogether. Water supply has already hit North, South, and Central Delhi areas, including Model Town, Kamla Nagar, Civil Lines, Kalindi Kunj, South Extension, Tughlakabad, Karol Bagh, and Pahar Ganj. It is further said to hit even in the poshest areas of Delhi, including Lutyens Delhi, which will include Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhawan, LG House and other Central Government Offices.

DJB has however ensured that in the areas predicted to hit with an acute water crisis, will be provided with 1200 tankers.


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