The water crisis in the city has again brought to fore the inter-state water dispute over the Kajauli water supply scheme, the source on which the UT administration has pinned its hopes to cater to the exponentially rising demand of water.
Had Punjab, Haryana and the UT administration amicably resolved the dispute over augmentation of phases 5 and 6 of the Kajauli water scheme, authorities would have had enough water for the entire population of the city.
The city reportedly needs 110 million gallons daily (MGD) of water in summers. However, it is presently receiving only 85 to 87 MGD, including 67 MGD from the Kajauli water works and 18 to 20 MGD from tubewells of the public health department of the MC.
"More than 220 tubewells have already been installed across the city, so we cannot set up more tubewells as it would lower the water table. Hence, expansion of Kajauli water works scheme is our only hope," said a senior UT official.
The official added that the situation was expected to worsen during summer vacations, when the demand for water in the city would touch 116 MGD.
However, hopes of the UT administration of drawing more water from the Kajauli scheme have dimmed since the stalemate over the scheme continues, with the UT stuck in the middle.
Had Punjab and Haryana given the nod to the Kajauli expansion plans, the UT would have bridged the demand-supply gap of 20-23 MGD of water, as it would have got a share of 29 MGD from the augmented part of the scheme.
20 MGD water wasted due to leakage
The public health department has failed to check leakage of water in the distribution network. The wastage is maximum in colonies and villages. For the past several years, the MC has not taken any measures to reduce the leakage.
According to official records, around 20 MGD of water is wasted due to leakage, which can cater to nearly 48,000 houses in the city. In fact, the water tank in Sector 4, Chandigarh, has been leaking since 1990, but no effort has been taken to check the same.
MC meeting today
An emergency meeting of water supply and sewage disposal committee will be held on Monday at 4pm.
Committee chairman Mukesh Bassi said, "The present water situation in the city is indeed alarming. We have called an emergency meeting to discuss and resolve the water crisis in Chandigarh."