Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Likely to end water woes of Capital’s Dwarka, Bawana and Okhla areas

NEW DELHI: The long-awaited Munak canal, which is expected to bring in an additional 80 million gallons a day (MGD) of water to Delhi, is now all set to become operational by June this year.

The 102-km-long canal, being built by Haryana between the Haryana border and Haiderpur in Delhi, will cut down water losses due to seepage.

The Rs.315-crore project ran into bad weather when work related to its construction was halted because of delay in obtaining clearance certificates from the Central Government for removal of nearly 7,000 trees that fell on its banks.

Requisite permission

The requisite permission now under their belt, officials of the Haryana Government told The Hindu on Friday that the work has picked pace and in all likelihood the channel would be ready for use by the end of June.

“We have begun test runs along 82 km of the channel that is ready. The test runs began about three months ago and work on the remaining 20 km has picked up pace. The water carried through the 82-km stretch is currently being released at Wazirabad,” said an official.

He however cautioned: “With work on in full swing, Delhi will have to ensure that the money required for the project is not delayed. We are running on a tight budget and are fast approaching the deadline. Any delay on this (financial) part is avoidable.”

Proposed as a remedy to the perennial problem of water shortage in the Capital’s Dwarka, Bawana and Okhla areas, the channel was scheduled to be ready by December 2008.

For long a contentious issue between Delhi and Haryana, the project is also aimed at improving the Capital’s water supply ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

“Work was delayed only on account of clearance to fell the trees and the logistics that had to be arranged to tackle shifting of cables and other wired connections that had to be circumvented,” say Haryana officials.

Of the additional 80 MGD of water that the channel will carry, 20 MGD will be supplied to the Okhla and Bawana water treatment plants and 40 MGD to Dwarka.