Brace for a fortnight to get your regular, daily supply of water.
Engineers will take that many days to repair the Munak canal, Delhi’s 102km water lifeline running through neighbouring Haryana, which was extensively damaged in stretches during the violent Jat stir for reservation in jobs and colleges.
Jat men and women laid siege to the aqueduct for four days, choking supply in west, north and south Delhi. But authorities managed to partly restore the distribution system after the army on Monday took control of the canal, which brings 60% of the city’s tap water from a Yamuna reservoir.
“The worst is over but we have to continue saving water. Only drinking water is available. Haryana and Delhi are working on a war footing,” Delhi Jal Board chairperson Kapil Mishra said after visiting the canal on Tuesday evening.
The army is still guarding parts of this crucial water supply line, which brings close to 580 million gallons of water from Haryana each day.
But contrasting statements belie the coordination between the two states. Haryana’s irrigation department said 70% water supply to Delhi has been restored. Delhi said the city was getting only a fraction of what Haryana had released.
Haryana said it released 406 million gallons of water on Tuesday, which is expected to reach Delhi early on Wednesday through alternative routes — the Yamuna link and Delhi sub-branch.
Losses because of leakage are very high on the sub-branch.
The Delhi government expects only 80 million gallons from Harnaya on Tuesday night while the level of the Wazirabad pond, from where water is diverted to the Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla treatment plants, is falling drastically.
The three plants, with a total capacity of 238 million gallons daily (MGD), became functional on Tuesday evening. This means, Delhi will have supply of 600 MGD on Wednesday as opposed to the 900 MGD it normally gets.
The water shortage continues in west Delhi, especially localities such as Dwarka, while the city’s north and central zones have found some relief.
Haryana irrigation department chief engineer Birender Singh said supporters of the Jat quota movement damaged the Munak canal near Garhi-Bindroli village and at Mandora, where the sluice gates are located. He said it will take at least two weeks to restore 100% water flow to Delhi.
(With inputs from Rajesh Ahuja)