As thousands of members of the Jat community in continued protests to demand government benefits in Haryana, people in the national capital on Sunday faced a major water crisis as a result of the violent demonstrations, which have left at least 10 dead.
The protesters have damaged equipment that brings water from Munak canal in Haryana to New Delhi, depleting the capital’s water supply. New Delhi gets about 60% of its water from the neighbouring state.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that schools in the capital would be closed on Monday. He also ordered the rationing of water to people’s homes.
At least 10 people have been killed in firing on protesters by security forces since the weeklong protests turned violent on Friday, Yashpal Singhal, the state’s top police officer, told reporters on Sunday. Another 150 protesters have been injured in clashes in various parts of Haryana.
He also said paramilitary forces and irrigation engineers were trying to restore the water flow from Munak canal to New Delhi.
“Have directed all schools to be closed tomorrow due to water crisis,” Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia tweeted. “No water available now. Still no hope to get it.”
The government also announced that water would be rationed amongst all residents equally -- barring a few VIPs. “Barring President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, defence installations, hospitals, fire brigade, water to be equally rationed amongst all,” Kejriwal said.
“Please save water,” Kejriwal tweeted.
In the wake of the Munak Canal -- which supplies water to south Delhi -- being shut down after vandalisation by Jat protestors, the Delhi government had said water supply in the capital may be hit, adding that it has taken certain measures to restore it.
“Extraordinary situation. First time seven plants closed down. No piped water supply possible after tomorrow morning in 60% city, including NDMC,” Delhi’s water minister Kapil Mishra had said on Saturday.