By LE Desk

New Delhi, March 25: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered status quo on the supply of water to Delhi by Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde passed the order while agreeing to hear a petition filed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) against BBMB and the Punjab government’s move to close two gates of Bhakra Nangal for repairs. The repairs will curtail 25 per cent of the water supply to Delhi.

Looking into the urgency of the case as it concerns water to the national capital, the bench agreed to hear the petition on Friday while issuing a notice to BBMB and Punjab, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Since it is a matter of fundamental right to water, we will not entertain any technical objections and if required, we may appoint a commissioner to visit the spot.”

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for DJB, informed the court that the top officers of the agency visited the site. He added they requested BBMB to postpone the repairs to July and August as the demand for water peaks in April.

“If the repairs are integral to the water channel; we would not stop them,” the bench said.

Singhvi said the repairs can be carried out later as well. He added DJB wrote six letters to BBMB, but without any response. He requested the court to ensure the gates are not closed till Friday.

The DJB also told the court Haryana too had reduced the supply of water to Delhi.

The court said it will consider the matter on Friday and asked Haryana’s lawyer to take instructions. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, who appeared for Haryana, said there was no urgency as full supply was being maintained to Delhi.

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