Defying a government ban on strikes by employees running essential services, workers of the Public Health Engineering Department have gone on strike from Saturday, affecting drinking water supply.

The employees have allegedly dismantled and secreted away some vital machinery.

In a release, the joint administrative council of the All-Manipur Trade Unions Council and the All-Manipur Government Employees' Organisation said the agitation would continue till the demands were met.

Scheme commissioned

The water supply component of the Khuga multi-purpose project at Mata in Churachandpur district was commissioned on Saturday by Power Minister Phungzathang Tonsing.

Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Nongthonbam Biren said the project would supply drinking water to 13 villages in the district. But, for the time being, the residents may not get water because of the strike.

Mr. Tonsing said the power generation component of the project would take some time to become operational.