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Parched Gurgaon buys water

Canal damage causes city’s worst shortage as authorities ask army for help, reports Sanjeev K Ahuja.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2008 00:34 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Taps in thousands of Gurgaon homes dried up and people in large parts of the city had to buy water on Sunday after authorities declared a severe water crisis, perhaps the worst the city ever faced.

The crisis was caused by a breach in a canal that supplies water to nearly 70 per cent of Gurgaon, officials said, adding that the situation would continue to be grim at least till Thursday. The administration has sought help from neighbouring cities and the army to supply groundwater through tankers.

The repair of the canal could be completed by Tuesday, Gurgaon district magistrate Rakesh Gupta said. “Water in the canal is expected to flow by Wednesday morning or Thursday,” he added. Giving the cause of the crisis, Gupta said that a portion of the Gurgaon canal caved in on Saturday. The damaged portion was near the spot where the canal was breached by villagers on March 17.

“We have sought help from Rewari, Faridabad, Mahendergarh, Jhajjar and also asked the army to send us water tankers. We have also set up a number of control rooms and helpline numbers have been flashed,” he added. The DM said about 300 tankers supplied water to residents on Sunday.

The worst affected areas included Sector 4, 7, 22, 23, 10A, Palam Vihar, DLF Phase I, II and III. Many said they had to buy water from private tankers at the rate of Rs 500-700 for 5,000 litres.

Dharam Sagar, chairman of Federation of Residents Welfare Associations, said residents had been facing a water crisis for the past 3-4 days. “It has got worse since Saturday. Water tankers are not easily available. If it continues like this, we won’t have any water at all tomorrow,” he added.

DLF Phase I, II and III will face more difficulties on Monday when DLF’s water reservoirs dry up as there’s no supply from the canal.

“We have inducted eight water tankers (5,000 litres each) but this would meet just 40 per cent of the demand of our residents for a day. If we do not get canal supply soon, we will have no water. Administration should seek help from Delhi,” said Shalini Wadhawa, spokesperson for DLF Group.