The Army has taken control of the strategic Munak canal from Jat quota agitators, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday, raising hopes of an end to a crippling water crisis in large parts of the Capital.
The Delhi-Chandigarh highway, which was also blocked by protesters, was also cleared overnight, an ANI report said.
The Munak canal, which carries 543 million gallons of water per day from the Yamuna to the city, was besieged by Jat protesters demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
Watch | Jat agitation hits Delhi, schools and water supply affected
“Gud news. Army takes control of munak canal gates,” Kejriwal said in a tweet, adding that the government was trying to assess the time it would require for water to reach Delhi.
Gud news. Army takes control of munak canal gates(1/2)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 22, 2016
Trying to assess in how much time water wud reach Del n whether any damage done to canal lining. Will keep u updated(2/2)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 22, 2016
Thank u army, thank u centre for securing munak canal back. Great relief for delhi— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 22, 2016
Haryana, the single biggest source of water for the city, has been rocked by widespread violence and arson by Jat protesters for more than a week.
Many areas of the city went without water on Sunday and many areas reported low pressure, forcing the government to implement water rationing.
The Delhi Jal Board also sent out 423 tankers to supply water to the worst hit areas.
The government also ordered closure of schools on Monday due to the water scarcity.
“Even if the gates are opened, the damage to the equipment will have to be repaired. It will take at least 24 hours for the supply to start,” a Delhi Jal Board official said.
On Sunday afternoon, army and para-military forces were sent to Sonepat to secure the Munak Canal but couldn’t dislodge the protesters, one of whom was killed in firing.
“We have not been able to evict the protesters. We have temporarily suspended the efforts to evict them as the situation may turn volatile,” Haryana additional chief secretary (home) PK Das said.