After five days, when normal water supply finally resumed, the joy lasted barely four hours. The repaired pipelines at Kajauli waterworks in Punjab - the primary source of water to Chandigarh and SAS Nagar - broke again, and it was back to square one. Now, officials say repairs would take another three days.
The pipelines were damaged on August 20 that had led to low-pressure supply to Chandigarh and almost no supply to large parts of SAS Nagar. A senior Chandigarh MC official said, "The Kajauli phase-4 pipeline was damaged due to negligence of the public health department of Punjab. They failed to check a damaged concrete block, which dislocated the repaired bend in the pipeline."
The original damage to pipelines of phases 3 and 4 of the project occurred when workers were carrying out digging work for laying pipelines for two more phases.
RP Gupta, executive officer of the Punjab public health department, acknowledged, "The pipeline could not sustain the pressure after repairs on Sunday, and was damaged again. Repair will take another three days."
From Kajauli, Chandigarh gets 67 MGD water out of its total supply of 87 against a demand of 116 MGD. SAS Nagar gets 10 MGD from Kajauli as part of its total supply of 15.2 MGD; there is a shortfall of 10MGD anyway.
Those living above the ground floor and in the southern sectors of Chandigarh remain the worst-hit as low-pressure ensures the overhead tanks are not filled. In SAS Nagar, the problem was spread across Phases 9, 10 and 11 and Sectors 70 and 71, besides industrial areas-1 to 5 and Shahimajra village; for a week now, residents are making do with carrying water from the ground floors when the supply is on, or through private tankers.
Amrik Singh, a resident of Phase 11 said, "It is strange that the authorities do not have any alternatives. In fact, the officials are not taking our calls, and from the past three days we are getting water from private tankers."
Councillor Malkiat Singh said those on the first and second floors at Buterla village in Sector 41 are the worst-affected: "Harried residents allege nothing has been done. I feel helpless."
Residents forced to pay more for tanker water in SAS Nagar
Single on side
Fleecing tankers in SAS Nagar
The acute water shortage has left residents of SAS Nagar with no other option but to buy water from private suppliers, who are charging Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per tanker, which otherwise costs Rs 350. Gopal Krishan of Phase 11 said "I have so far bought two water tankers and paid Rs 2,000. SAS Nagar does not even have its own tankers." The DC claimed he had told civic authorities to arrange tankers.
Chandigarh MC has arranged additional 20 water tankers besides 25 of its own for drinking water supply. For urgent demand, call 0172- 2540200. In SAS Nagar, DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said, "I've already directed the civic authorities to arrange water tankers."
*Chandigarh supply restrictions: Aug 27-31
Sec 1-30: Supply from 2am to 7am will be normal, but that from 6pm to 9pm will have low pressure
Sec 31-47: Normal supply from 2am to 6am but no supply in evening
Sec 48-53, 61: Supply from 2am to 6am will be fine, but that from 7pm to 9pm to have low pressure
Manimajra: Supply in the morning and evening will be at low pressure
BOLD: In SAS Nagar, no such schedule was anounced
Chandigarh: BK Dhawan on 98725-11246, Suresh Kumar Gill on 98725-11258 or Hans Raj Gupta on 99157-11497
Manimajra: Amit Sharma on 98725-11238, ID Sharma on 98725-11231 or Yash Pal Gupta on 98725-11249
SAS Nagar: For Phase 9, call Surinder Singh on 95017-00747; Phase 10 Kuldeep Singh on 9501-23274; Phase 11 BM Soni on 98156-00798; Balwinder Singh on 90410-49763 for Sector 70; and for Sector 71, call Satish Rattan on 97791-58753