Delhi gets water relief after three days amid Jat stir, city still dry

  • Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 23, 2016 12:43 IST
Tempers flare as residents crowd around a municipal tanker to fetch water. The damage to Munak Canal by Jat protesters left Delhi nearly parched for three days. (Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times)

After nearly three dry days, areas of north and central Delhi received water on Tuesday while West Delhi remained parched and dependent on Delhi Jal Board (DJB) tankers.

“Partial supply has been restored in some parts of north and central Delhi. Seventy tankers from these areas have been diverted to west Delhi,” Delhi water minister and DJB chairperson Kapil Mishra said on Tuesday morning.

However, until Munak Canal, which supplies 60 per cent of the capital’s total water requirement, is repaired, normal water supply cannot be expected. The canal was extensively damaged by protesters demanding reservations for Jats before the Army took control of the reservoir. Jal Board officials say the repairs will take a few days as the canal has been badly damaged at Mandora, 20 kms from Hyderpur plant in Delhi.

Read more| Jat stir: Delhi dodges major water crisis but woes far from over

Mishra wrote separate letters to Union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday, requesting deployment of army engineers as soon as possible.

He also wrote to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to facilitate early resumption of water supply to Delhi.

“A special DJB team is on its way to Munak and Khubdu to assess the damage and to work with Haryana authorities and army for repairing. News is that some water has been released from Haryana last night. Hopefully, partial supply can be restored in west Delhi by evening,” Mishra said, adding that supply will remain limited till the canal is completely repaired.

Delhi’s water demand is 1,100 million gallons daily (MGD). The city is currently getting around 240 MGD from Okhla (20MGD), Wazirabad (123 MGD), and Chandrawal (95 MGD) water treatment plants that have been functional at 100% capacity, according to DJB CEO, Keshav Chandra.

The Haryana government has also released 100 cusecs of water, being provided through tankers in many parts, Chandra said. However, this will not be enough to mitigate Delhi’s water shortage.

In most NDMC areas, residents said over 70% of the normal water supply was resumed on Monday morning. Similar reports came from North and other parts of Central Delhi. However, some areas are still waiting for the supply. “For more than 72 hours, we have got no water in Ghantaghar, Azad Market, Roshnara Road, Haqeeqat Nagar and North campus. We are just hearing fake claims of water supply being resumed,” Ashok Bhasin of the North Delhi RWA Federation told Hindustan Times.

Another worry the city has is the fluctuating contamination level at the Wazirabad pond. This affects the quality of water available for the treatment plants and thereby the quantity of water to reach homes in the Capital.

Read more| After 5 days and 19 deaths, some Jat groups call off quota agitation

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