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Water crisis over, for now

Delhi's water crisis due to an agitation by Jats in Muradnagar in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh ended on Monday, when the community called off the agitation, after officials from the Ministry of Social Justice reportedly agreed to listen to their demand of OBC reservations in central jobs.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2010 23:35 IST
HT Correspondents

Delhi's water crisis due to an agitation by Jats in Muradnagar in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh ended on Monday, when the community called off the agitation, after officials from the Ministry of Social Justice reportedly agreed to listen to their demand of OBC reservations in central jobs.

Water supply to Delhi Jal Board's (DJB) two water treatment plants (WTPs) — Sonia Vihar in south Delhi and Bhagirathi in east Delhi — was restored on Monday afternoon after a delegation of the Jat community met Ministry officials in Delhi.

"Ministry officials assured us that our demands would be closely monitored every week and would also be forwarded to the Prime Minister's office," Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti president Yash Pal Singh Malik told HT from Muradnagar.

Hours later, DJB CEO Ramesh Negi told reporters in Delhi, "We are trying our best to restore water supply by tonight and are hopeful of normalising the situation by Tuesday morning," said DJB CEO Ramesh Negi.

The disruption in water supply to the Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi WTPs led to a shortfall of 240-250 MGD (million gallons per day), approximately 35 per cent of total daily supply.

"The whole of east Delhi and large portions of south Delhi did not get any water today.

These areas are served by Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi WTPs," Negi said.

East Delhi was the worst affected. Said B S Vohra, secretary of Krishna Nagar RWA, "There has been no water supply even till late Monday evening. The DJB should have supplied water through tankers on its own."

Till late Monday evening, Delhiites had no respite.

Said Ram Gupta, general secretary, Priyadarshini Vihar RWA in south Delhi, "There has not been a single drop of water since morning. DJB officials are not even giving us a satisfactory reply."

Earlier in the morning, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, "Our officials, including the Chief Secretary, have been holding talks with Uttar Pradesh officials and have also taken up the issue with

the Union Cabinet Secretary and the ministries of Home Affairs, Water Resources and Social Justice."

However, the respite may be temporary, with Jat leaders threatening to disrupt the Commonwealth Games if their demands were not met with concrete results before July 10.

"We will block water supply, oil and gas supplies from Mathura and Panipat and transmission grids during the Games, if the Centre fails to assure us OBC status," said Yash Pal Singh Malik, Jat Arakshhan Sangharsh Samiti president.