Repairs to hit water supply in Chandigarh on August 25, 26

Many parts of Chandigarh reeling under low water pressure already; supply to Mohali to be affected for a day as well
Repairs of the Kajauli waterworks in Chandigarh will also hit water supply in parts of Mohali .(Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Repairs of the Kajauli waterworks in Chandigarh will also hit water supply in parts of Mohali .(Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Aug 25, 2019 10:13 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondents

Water will be supplied at low pressure in Chandigarh for two days — August 25 and 26 — because of a fault in the pumping machinery in the first two phases of the Kajauli waterworks.

Many parts of Chandigarh are already reeling under low water pressure for the past week.

Repairs in Phases 3 and 4 of the Kajauli waterworks in Chandigarh will also hit water supply in parts of Mohali on August 25. Both the morning and evening supply will be at low pressure in Sectors 70 and 71, Phases 9, 10 and 11, Industrial Area’s Phases 1 to 5, and Mataur and Shahimajra villages.

Chandigarh receives 58 million gallons per day (MGD) of water from the four phases of the waterworks. However, only half of this will be available in the next two days. “Residents are requested to use water judiciously. Normalcy will return from Tuesday,” stated a Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) release.

The first two phases are maintained by the Mohali MC, said a Chandigarh official, who did not want to be named. “The fault occurred because of the recent rains that turned the water muddy, delaying the filtration process,” he said.

“Water demand goes down during monsoon. So it is a cause of concern that water supply has been hit even in this season,” said Sandeep Bhalla, organising secretary of the Sector 21 resident welfare association (RWA).

“The situation is very bad in my sector,” said Swadesh Talwar , president, Sector 44B RWA. “The problem has been there for at least five days. Water supply doesn’t even stay for an hour.”

“The morning supply ends at 7:30am,” said Preeti Verma, president of the Sector 35B Bhakra Beas Management Board Colony RWA. “We called a tanker on Saturday, but it never reached the sector.”

Infra upgrade hanging fire

According to figures accessed from the MC public health department, the city has witnessed 260 water supply breakdowns since January 2016 due to repeated technical snags at the Kajauli waterworks, which route the Bhakhra Canal water to Chandigarh through a 40km pipeline.

While some of the breakdowns were minor in nature, there were times when chaos reigned in the city for days.

The issue of upgrading the pumping machinery has been highlighted many times, but to no avail.

Another major lacuna in the MC water supply is the lack of adequate storage. 

Chandigarh’s current water storage capacity suffices only for half a day. This means water drawn from the Bhakra Canal in the morning is supplied in the evening, and then tanks are refilled in the evening for morning supply. This makes it tough to maintain supply whenever there is a fault in the canal’s supply line.

The proposal to increase the water storage capacity to two days in a phased manner hit a roadblock last month when the UT administration refused 38 crore special grant required for the project.

 “80% of the city’s water supply is dependent on canal water. The availability of water supply in UT is likely to increase to 110-115 MGD after Phases 5 and 6 of the Kajauli waterworks are commissioned in the next few weeks. This makes it even more important to work on upgrading the pumping machinery and increase water storage capacity,” said former mayor Arun Sood.

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