Delhi's hunger-striking water minister taken to hospital

NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 22: Atishi, Delhi Water Minister seen along CPI leader D Raja and AAP leader Sanjay Singh during the 2nd Day of "Pani Satyagrah" against the Haryana Government at Bhogal, Jangpura on June 22, 2024 in New Delhi, India. The water minister said that Delhi depends on neighbouring states for water. It receives 1,005 MGD water from neighbouring states through rivers and canals, out of which Haryana provides 613 MGD, she said. In the extreme summer heat faced by Delhi, Haryana has reduced its share to 513 MGD for a few weeks affecting over 28 lakh people, she added. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Delhi minister Atishi began her hunger-strike on 21 June [Getty Images]

Delhi's water minister Atishi has been admitted to hospital, five days after she began a hunger strike to highlight the city's water crisis.

The Indian capital has been facing severe water shortages as a prolonged heatwave has pushed up consumption.

Ms Atishi was taken to hospital on Tuesday morning after her sugar levels dropped to 36 - way below the normal range of 70-100mg/dL.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, who goes by only one name, has accused neighbouring Haryana state of restricting water supply to the city.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power in Haryana, has denied the charge and blamed the AAP government for the water crisis.

"She has not eaten anything for the last five days," AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj wrote on X (formerly Twitter), adding that she was being treated in the ICU.

Delhi is experiencing one of its hottest summers this year, with temperatures crossing 40C for weeks.

This has led to a spike in the demand for electricity and water, putting a strain on the city's resources.

With the water supply almost running out, people have had to depend on water supplied by tankers.

NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 24: Delhi Minister Atishi during indefinite hunger strike over water crisis on June 24, 2024 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Atishi has said she will continue her fast indefinitely [Getty Images]

Ms Atishi has blamed the Haryana government for holding up a large share of water from river Yamuna, which runs through the capital.

Delhi and other northern states, including Haryana, depend on the river for their water needs.

In 1996, India's top court ordered Haryana to provide a portion of its water to Delhi throughout the year because of the city's growing demands for drinking water.

But last week, Ms Atishi requested the Haryana government to release additional water to the city on "humanitarian grounds".

The minister also alleged that for the past three weeks, Haryana had reduced water supply to the capital by 100 million gallons per day, depriving 2.8 million people of their needs.

The Haryana government, in turn, accused Delhi of mismanagement and said that authorities were responsible for the city's water crisis.

Read more India stories: