Water supply back to normal, says Delhi Jal Board after Chamoli impact
Water supply in parts of south, east and north-east Delhi remained partially affected on Monday as silt and debris from the flash floods in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district increased turbidity in the Ganga river forcing Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to operate at reduced capacity.
Turbidity is the measure of relative clarity of a liquid. Turbidity is measured in NTU. High turbidity can be caused by debris, silt, mud, algae, plant pieces, melting glaciers, sawdust, wood ashes or chemicals in the water.
DJB vice-chairperson Raghav Chadha on Monday said the water utility has overcome the supply issue. He also visited DJB’s Bhagirathi Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to take stock of the situation. “We treat the raw Ganga water which comes from the Upper Ganga Canal at Muradnagar and provide it to Delhi households. But, due to the calamity in Uttarakhand, the quality of water has worsened. The water which we are getting now is of very poor quality as it has a lot of dirt and other particles. Water quality is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) which touched 8,000, while the permissible limit is 100,” said Chadha.
Chadha said the DJB shut down the Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi WTPs. The production capacity of these plants was brought down to combat the situation, he said. These plants together provide around 250 MGD water per day.
“Due to high level of dirt in the raw water, supply was affected in areas of south, east and north-east Delhi. He said in Bhagirathi treatment plant, water NTU has been reduced from 8000 to 960 and in Sonia Vihar it has been brought down from 8200 NTU to 1000,” said Chadha.
Residents in several areas complained of zero or irregular supply on Monday. These include Greater Kailash-2, Defence Colony, Vigyan Vihar, South Extension-2, Kailash Colony, Jamia Nagar, Panchsheel Enclave, Krishna Nagar, Jafrabad, Seelampur among others.
The DJB in a statement said the Bhagirathi water treatment plant (WTP) is now working at 100% and Sonia Vihar at 80% capacity.
In many areas, residents had to buy water cans or rely on private tankers to meet the water shortage. RWAs also issued instructions to residents to judiciously use water for a few days due to the crisis.
Sanjay Rana, president, Greater Kailash-2 RWA, said there was no prior intimation about the disruption of water supply hence people could not fill their tanks or store water.
“There had been no supply of water since Sunday evening. The authorities told us about the water crisis only on Sunday evening, saying that there will be no supply in the evening and next (Monday) morning as well. This sudden situation led to water shortage in almost every household in the area. People had to buy 20-litre water cans to do their daily chores,” Rana said.
He added that the DJB officials have assured them that the supply would become normal by Tuesday.
Ranjeet Singh, president, Defence Colony RWA, said there was no water supply in the area. “Water supply was impacted in the colony since Sunday evening, and it worsened on Monday morning as there was no supply today. No one got the opportunity to fill their tanks or store extra water as there was no prior intimation,” Singh said.
Several areas in east Delhi were also due to the break in supply.
BS Vohra, president of a joint forum of east Delhi RWAs said in some areas such as Vigyan Vihar, Preet Vihar among others there was no water supply on Monday while in certain areas the supply was either for short duration or the quality of water was very bad.
“In areas such as Krishna Nagar, Geeta Colony the water was supplied for a shorter duration and also it was very dirty. We could not fill tanks due to dirty water. Through TV and other mediums, we got to know about water crisis in Delhi due to flash floods in Uttarakhand but the DJB did not send an official communication to the RWAs. We are not sure if the supply will be restored by Tuesday,” Vohra said.
On the allegations that the DJB did not inform the residents in advance, a DJB spokesperson said, “The information that the water supply will be affected was put out for the knowledge of general public through social media handles. It was tweeted during the day on Sunday by the vice chairperson and most MLAs also sent out messages to RWA groups. ”
In north-east Delhi areas such as Jafrabad, Seelampur and Mukundpur, there was no supply on Monday morning while in areas such as Shahdara, Seemapuri, Vishwas Nagar, water was supplied at low pressure.