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Protests on streets over water shortage

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2009 00:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Poor water supply triggered street protests for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

Angry residents of Khanpur in southeast Delhi blocked the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, which affected traffic in surrounding area too.

Ramesh Chand Sharma, a resident of Krishna Park in Khanpur, said their area did not get any water supply for the last five days.

“All our complaints to the DJB (Delhi Jal Board) have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

Krishna Park has eight colonies and all of them were getting erratic water supply. “We had no option but to raise our voice by protesting on the streets,” said Kant.

The city has been reeling under water shortage for some time.

BJP MLAs staged a walkout during the budget session of the Delhi Assembly on Thursday when their demand to hold a discussion on the water and power situation in the Capital was refused.

“The water and power situation in Delhi is very difficult. We are monitoring the situation. I have called a meeting of MLAs from all parties to discuss the water scarcity on Monday and power problems on Tuesday,” Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, addressing the assembly.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the government was misleading Delhiites on the water and power situation.

“The government gave a very rosy picture of the water and power situation in the Budget, but there is severe water and power crisis on ground,” said Malhotra.

On Wednesday, similar protests were seen in different parts of the city. In Kondli and Rajbir Nagar, people protested by blocking traffic.

The water board on its part claimed that against a demand of 900 million gallons per day (MGD) of water, it was able to supply a total of 796 MGD.

The mood in the city, however, told a different tale.

“In the last one week, we didn’t have water supply for two days. Then, it will come at a time when people are at work. It is also very difficult to arrange for tankers as the staff refuses to listen or switches off their phones,” said N.K. Vaid, secretary general of the Federation of RWAs of Vasant Kunj.

The Bhakra Beas Management Board on Thursday decided to cut down supply of water for irrigation to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan by 6,000 cusecs till July 10 with concern being raised on the depleting water levels.

For now Delhi’s share has not been affected as water supplied to Delhi is for drinking purposes only.

“Delhi’s supply may be affected if the situation deteriorates,” said an official on condition of anonymity.