The water crisis that threatened to leave Delhi parched has been averted. On Monday the water supply from the Ganga canal was restored several hours after it was stopped by the members of the Jat community in protest against the Centre’s decision not include them in the reservation ambit.
Relieved officials of the Delhi Jal Board assured that the city’s water supply will be back on track from Tuesday. “The water supply that was being stopped from Murad Nagar from Sunday afternoon has been restored and we are expecting the situation to normalise by Tuesday morning,” said DJB Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Negi.
He said since it takes about six hours for the water to reach Delhi from Murad Nagar and another two hours for the water treatment plants to begin production, it is unlikely that the Jal Board will be able to supply water on Monday evening to most of the areas in South Delhi and East Delhi that have been reeling under the shortage caused by the protest.
“We have been rationalising what we have. On Monday morning too we managed to supply water in some of the areas on the command of the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant and the Bhagirathi water treatment plant, where we had to scale down production. We will try to supply water in the evening, but cannot assure it, water supply will however be normalised by Tuesday morning.”
Referring to the precautions that the Jal Board is planning to take should the protest recur, Mr. Negi said: “We have made provision to share the water that we get from Haryana for the Wazirabad and Chandrawal WTPs. But we will be able to meet only the critical demand that way. Also, there is only so much water that can be released by Haryana at this time, since the water level in the Yamuna is also low.”
The DJB CEO said a request has also been made to the Uttar Pradesh administration to enhance the security at vital installations like the one at Murad Nagar. On Sunday an agitating mob took control of the regulator, stopping raw water supply to Bhagirathi and Sonia Vihar WTPs.
“We have been informed that a delegation of Jat leaders has left for Delhi for meeting with officials of the Ministry of Social Justice and allowed release of water. The agitating crowd however, is still camping in the regulator premises waiting for the outcome of negotiations with the Centre,” said Mr. Negi.
As inter-State water development and regulators is a mandate of the Central Government, the DJB has taken up the matter with the Central Government.
The closure of the raw water supply to Delhi from the Murad Nagar regulator severely affected the production at Sonia Vihar WTP that normally gets 300 cusecs of water from Tehri Dam through the Murad Nagar conduit.
With the scaling down of water production at the 140 MGD Sonia Vihar WTP and the 100 MGD Bhagirathi WTP, there was a 30-35 per cent dip in the city’s water share.