Atishi begins indefinite hunger strike over water crisis

| | New Delhi
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Atishi begins indefinite hunger strike over water crisis

Saturday, 22 June 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Friday began her indefinite hunger strike in south Delhi's Bhogal to intensify her demand for more water from Haryana following her visit to Rajghat where she paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal, along with AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, were present as Atishi began her fast. Sunita Kejriwal, who came into limelight after AAP supremo's arrest on March 21 in the alleged excise policy linked money laundering scam, read out a message from the chief minister, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail, in which he expressed hope that Atishi's 'tapasya' would be successful.

The chief minister said he was immensely pained by seeing on TV the plight of the people facing water shortage amid the ongoing intense heatwave, he said. "It's our culture to provide water to the thirsty. Delhi gets water from neighbouring states. We hoped support of neighbouring states in such intense heat. But, Haryana reduced Delhi's water share," he stated.

While referring to the BJP that is in power in Haryana, he said, "Although there are governments of different parties in the two states but is this time for politics over water." Earlier, Sunita Kejriwal, Singh, Bharadwaj and other leaders accompanied Atishi at Rajghat where they paid tributes before heading to Bhogal.

"Before the Water Satyagraha, paid homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi by visiting his samadhi at Raj Ghat. Decades ago, Bapu had adopted the path of Satyagraha for the country and for the rights of the common people. Today, following his path, I am sitting on a hunger strike to ensure that the people of Delhi get their share of water from Haryana. This Satyagraha will continue until my people of Delhi get their rightful share of water from Haryana," she said on her visit to X (formerly Twitter).

As she began her indefinite fast, the minister, sharing stage with other AAP leaders, said,  "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."

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 Satyagrah will continue till Delhi people get water from Haryana," she said.

Delhi gets 1005 MGD water which is supplied to people in the city. She claimed that for the last two weeks, Haryana is giving 513 MGD instead of 613 MGD water to Delhi while more than 28 lakh people face shortage when Haryana stops 100 MGD of water.

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

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