Just when Delhi was slowly beginning to tide over a crippling water shortage triggered by the damage to the Munak canal by Jat protestors in Haryana, the rising pollution level in one of the water reservoirs is threatening to aggravate the crisis in the capital.
After a day of decent water supply, the Delhi Jal Board fears the crisis may return with ammonia levels in the Wazirabad pond expected to rise. It appealed to residents of north and central Delhi to save water for Thursday.
The board suspects that Drain 8, which supplies water to the Wazirabad pond, is being contaminated by sewer water because of which the pollution level is rising.
The Wazirabad pond supplies water to the Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants, which have an output of 340 million gallons every day.
The Capital has been grappling with a severe water crisis for the last four days, ever since Jat protesters demanding quota in government jobs, damaged the Munak Canal in Haryana.
The DJB said the damage to the canal was extensive and would take at least 15 days to repair. Debris was cleared from the damaged part on Wednesday. Delhi gets 60% of its water from Haryana.
Dwarka, which has been surviving on water tankers for the past three days, is likely to see piped water supply in the morning.
“Tankers diverted from different areas will now supply water to Dwarka. From Wednesday, Dwarka will get water every alternate day,” said DJB chairperson, Kapil Mishra. Water tankers made 900 trips across the city on Wednesday.
All, but one, of Delhi’s nine water treatment plants were working on Wednesday evening. The Dwarka Water Treatment Plant, with a capacity of 80 MGD, was the only one not functional.
On Wednesday, water was supplied to several parts of the Capital for the first time in three days. Though Dwarka continued to be serviced only by tankers, other parts of west Delhi received some water on Wednesday evening.
In the morning, residents of west Delhi claimed that water had been supplied for around 15 minutes. The water, however, was very dirty and could not be used.
Central and north Delhi got water for around 30 minutes in the morning.
On a normal day, Delhi distributes 900 million gallons of water daily. On Wednesday, more than 700 MGD was made available in the evening.
Wednesday continued to witness long lines wherever the tankers went, with residents of Dwarka and west Delhi queuing up and filling water in any utensil they could find.
The worst affected areas - Bindapur, Kerala, Janakpuri, Dwarka and Rohini – are expected to see some relief in the form of piped supply and tankers on Thursday.