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Search for new water sources

Increasing industrialisation, rapidly growing population, falling water table - the water troubles of Le Corbusier's city reach breaking point in summer. Already strained, civic authorites admit that even the planned extension of the Kajauli water works is not going to end the problem.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2003 17:41 IST

A prominent landmark of Chandigarh, the pool besides the state assembly belies the water situation in Chandigarh.

Rapidly growing population, increasing industrialisation, falling water table - the water troubles of Le Corbusier's dream city reach breaking point during summer.With the onset of summers, the demand for water in Chandigarh crosses 100 million gallons per day (mgd) while the supply is 64 mgd during the season. This includes 48 mgd from Kajauli as well.

Despite the civic body claims of having installed additional tubewells over the years, not much has been achieved. There are hopes from the Kajauli Phase IV water works, which however officials say would still not be able to meet all requirements of water in city.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Superintending Engineer (Public Health) Swaran Singh said that this summer monitoring of water supply was being done at a senior level. He added that twice daily at 3:30 am and 10 pm, the water supply and pressure was being monitored in routine.

As per the official figures the per capita consumption of water in city is 100 gallons per day, which is much higher as compared to the national norm of 45 gallons per day.

Officials of the public health department informed that during the peak summers the demand even crossed 110 mgd and in the nextdecade it was likely to increase to 150 mgd during the summer season. The Kajauli Phase IV, which is likely to take another two years, would be supplying 20 mgd additional water, which would still fall short to meet the demand. This gets the union territoryshare of 14.5 mgd, while Mohali, Chandimandir and Panchkula would share the remaining.

Officials informed that in addition there is more consumption of water in summers because of use of coolers, air conditioners and more storage of water by the residents. Otherwise also there is a tendency among the city residents to use more water during the summer months.

A senior official said, "During summers the problem is felt all over the city, especially in the southern sectors because there are multi-storeyed buildings there." He added that the problem was less acute in northern sectors since there were lesser floors there and hence less consumption of water.

First Published: Jun 20, 2003 17:41 IST