Reeti Agarwal brings photos from Central Delhi’s Chanakyapuri and surrounding areas with tales unheard before. Harshit Mansukhani tells about the unprecedented crisis in the capital


The national capital is under the grips of an unprecedented water crisis. Despite attempts by Jal Shakti Minister (Water Minister), Gajendra Shekhawat to label Delhi and other parts’ water crisis as a media-hype, the staggering water crisis stares Delhi in the eye.

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A woman in Delhi’s unauthorized colony takes home the water supplied by tempo.               (Picture by Reeti Agarwal)

The national capital, which recently saw mercury rise above 40 degrees, “unauthorized colonies” like the ones in Devli, Badarpur, and Dwarka are facing acute water shortages.

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NDMC Water Tanker delivering water to parts of Chanakyapuri and other areas of Central Delhi.             (Picture by Reeti Agarwal)

These areas have relied on water tempo service for years to provide water. The water made available to them by Delhi Jal Board is heavy in chlorine levels, hasn’t been treated to meet the requirements of safe water and is being used to clean houses, for animals and other chores.

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A girl looks upon water storage tanks as the crisis grips the national capital                          (Picture by Reeti Agarwal)

In addition, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s scheme of providing 20,000 litres of water each month free of cost to every household in the national capital is being misused by several housing societies as per the reports. NGT (National Green Tribunal)  has observed these societies using groundwater once they exceed the government limit.

Staggering Numbers

According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.



12 percent of India’s population is already living the ‘Day Zero’ scenario, thanks to excessive groundwater pumping, an inefficient and wasteful water management system and years of deficient rains.

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Some areas of cities like Delhi and Mumbai are getting more than the standard municipal water norm of 150 liters per capita per day (lpcd) while other areas get 40-50 lpcd.

As per 2013, Delhi Jal Board released notice, the board doesn’t have supplies of water to newly-settled areas in Delhi. Areas like the Dwarka-extension road, second diplomatic area, and DDA flats will soon face a shortage of water or no water.

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NDMC, Delhi Jal Board don’t have enough water for new colonies being settled in Delhi                    (Picture By Reeti Agarwal)

Not only would the water supply become a problem for the authorities, but the quality of water has also been questioned over the years as well.

Water delivered in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri and surrounding area is highly chlorinated, doesn’t taste like normal water should and people dependent on the supplies are not guaranteed  water every day. At times the delivery tempo is late by 2-3 hours sending the household into a crisis.

Delhi is a landlocked city and depends heavily on Haryana for its water. People of Delhi are dependants of the water coming from Haryana. This water is then treated by the Jal Board before delivery in colonies.DSC_0149 (2).JPG

Furthermore, I feel that we can endlessly blame authorities for insufficient water but we will never look inside our houses and amend our practices. We are wasting water that can be re-used. I am not here to teach you water consevrsation but to tell you how important this crisis is. Despite various warnings, you Mr.Reader/Ms. Reader have failed yourself and your society. If we don’t take action right now, there is a certainty that the future generation would be rich but poor in water.

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Find more such Photos on Reeti’s website-

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With Editing Inputs from Taru Medha























































































































Reeti Agarwal brings photos from Central Delhi’s Chanakyapuri and surrounding areas with tales unheard before

2 thoughts on “ Story in Pictures: Curious Case of Delhi’s Disappearing Water ”

  1. great insights from young minds who want to make a difference. Hope you carry on this good work to create awareness

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