The water available to the city is decreasing, but the UT administration has directed the Chandigarh municipal corporation to widen the supply ambit. The civic body has been told to release 3.5 million gallon daily (MGD) canal water to the left-out areas of Dhanas, the new one-room slum rehab tenements, and the institutional area of Sarangpur.
With this, on record there will be a gap of 41 MGD between the demand and supply. The city gets 87 MGD against a demand of 116. The civic body has recently decided to install 45 tubewells to plug the gap somewhat. Releasing 3.5 MGD water means equivalent of 40 tubewells.
The shortage is increasing to 41 by the end of the year as 9 MGD canal water - 6 to Panchkula and 3 MGD to Chandimandir - that is presently being used by Chandigarh will be withdrawn by the actual shareholders.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga was among those who cried foul: "I don't understand why the UT administration is not making its own arrangements for the one-room tenements in Dhanas, and putting the burden on the MC. Already the administration has its arrangements in villages that are not under the MC anyway. They should have convinced Punjab and Haryana for getting water under phases 5 and 6 of the Kajauli water works. We will raise the issue in the MC House meeting on Wednesday," he said.
When contacted, superintending engineer, MC public health department, RC Diwan said, "Though we had refused, the UT administration has issued directions unilaterally." Another senior official of the department said, "There was a proposal under phases 5 and 6 of Kajauli to provide 3.5 MGD to Dhanas. But since that proposal has been rejected, this is being done." The administration wants a separate pipeline for the areas from the water works in Sector 39.