After seven days of water woes in SAS Nagar and Chandigarh, and the hope that pipelines would be repaired by Thursday, it is learnt that the problem may extend up to the weekend.
On Tuesday, as people woke up to the bad news that the pipelines at Kajauli had got damaged again, the contingency plan of the Chandigarh municipal corporation fell flat. There was hardly any supply in the morning, forcing a u-turn on the schedule (now 4-8am and 6-8pm). Helplines went unanswered and the claim of free tanker supply proved a damp squib. In Sectors 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 32-34, 38 and 44-46, water did not reach even the ground floor. Private tankers were the only resort.
RC Diwan, superintending engineer, Chandigarh public health department, admitted that the schedule issued did not work, so the old schedule is back: "We understand the problem, and are trying our level best."
In SAS Nagar, the district administration finally woke up. Deputy commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu told officials to hire 100 tankers. A control room was set up at Phase 10, and sub-divisional engineer Gurprakash Singh deputed as a nodal officer. SDE Jagjit Singh (98780-81613) and junior engineer Charanjit Singh (97790-80352) would also be available from 6am to 10pm. "We are diverting water from Phase 7 to the affected areas, including Phases 9, 10 and 11," was all that RP Gupta, executive engineer, public health, Punjab, said.
As for resumption that was earlier expected on Thursday, it would take longer. When HT visited the damage site at Maankheri village near Kajauli, 22km from Chandigarh, senior officials of the MCs, public health department and GMADA at the spot said the work would take another five days.
The pipelines were originally damaged on August 20 that led to low-pressure supply to Chandigarh and almost no supply to large parts of SAS Nagar. Repairs on Sunday lasted barely four hours as the pipes could not take pressure and the joints gave way again.
MLA to hold protest
SAS Nagar Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday wrote a letter to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal over the water problem, and announced that he would hold protest at Dussehra Grounds in Phase 8 at 10am on Wednesday.
SAS Nagar situation
Over shortage of water and amid scurrying for water supply from government tankers, quarrels were witnessed among resident in Phase 9. As a tanker reached, people gathered with buckets but the alleged overtaking of turns meant fistfights.
Balwinder Singh at 90410-49763 for Sector 70, Satish Rattan (97791-58753) for Sec 71, Surinder Singh (95017-00747) for Phase 9, Kuldeep Singh (95010-23274) for Ph 10, BM Soni (98156-00798) for Ph 11, Charanjit Singh (97790-80352) for Ind Area 1 to 5 and Shahimajra, and Balwinder Singh (90410-49763) for Mataur.
Demand 22 MGD*
Supply 12 MGD
From Kajauli 10 MGD (rest from tubewells)
Hit due to damage 5 MGD
Overall shortage now Over 15 MGD
*million gallons daily
Tubewell trouble: Despite having 41 tubewells, SAS Nagar gets water only from 29 that actually work. The discharge is a mere 1.7 MGD. Though the public health dept has sought change of machinery at defunct tubewells, nothing has been done so far.
Morning 4 to 8, full pressure
Evening 6 to 8, low pressure
BK Dhawan on 98725-11246, Suresh Kumar Gill on 98725-11258 or Hans Raj Gupta on 99157-11497; for Manimajra, Amit Sharma on 98725-11238, ID Sharma on 98725-11231 or Yash Pal Gupta on 98725-11249
Demand 116 MGD
Supply 87 MGD
From Kajauli 67 MGD(rest from tubewells)
Shortage 29 MGD
Hit by damage 33 MGD
Overall shortage 62 MGD
*Consuming a lot
Residents of northern sectors (2-5, 9) draw 1,000 litres per capita per day, while Sectors 33-36 and 49, for instance, use 400. The average is 250 litres per capita per day, thus, as compared to the national figure of 150.