Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
Sonia Vihar water treatment plant is facing shortage of raw water supply causing crisis in parts of Delhi
Plant capacity: 140 MGD; functioning at only about 60 MGD Plant supplies water to large parts of East and South Delhi
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Government is expected to take up the issue of release of additional water for the 140 MGD Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant with the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh later this month.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is confident that the talks would help in securing release of more water from U.P. for Delhi. Incidentally, the 140 MGD plant has been functioning at only about 60 MGD capacity over the past few months due to short supply of raw water.
"I will be definitely holding talks on this issue later this month and we are hopeful that just the way the transport standoff was resolved amicable between the two States, so too would this issue of water distribution be settled to the satisfaction of both sides," she said.
The supply of water for the Sonia Vihar plant assumes significance since it supplies water to large parts of East and South Delhi. Though the plant became operational last summer, due to shortage of raw water supply it was not able to provide relief to those people for whom securing adequate water supply remains probably the most important job of the day.
Also, while the plant had become operational most of the underground reservoirs were not ready and so most of the raw water ended up running back into the Yamuna. But now that 21 of the 28 underground reservoirs are expected to the completed and made operational by December 2007, it has become important that the raw water supplies are secured so that the capacities of the reservoirs do not lie unutilised.
Water from the Sonia Vihar plant is expected to greatly augment the supply in the Capital as at present only about 700 MGD of water is produced as against the demand for around 900 MGD.
While under the rule of Mulayam Singh in Uttar Pradesh, the Delhi Government officials used to remain sceptical about the continued availability of water supply, now with a change of guard and the coming in of a "friendly" Bahujan Samaj Party regime in the State there is reason for greater optimism.
"Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are now working in tandem to resolve most of their pending issues. As the transport standoff was resolved at the instance of Ms. Mayawati in no time, there is hope that the water dispute would also be worked out. But Delhi also needs to work for putting its water infrastructure -- including pipelines and reservoirs -- in place so that the raw water supplies are not wasted and instead the thirst of millions of people in South, South West and East Delhi for a regular water supply is quenched," quipped a senior official.