Worsening water woes

Updated - November 16, 2021 11:27 pm IST

Published - July 12, 2014 09:58 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Water supply to the Capital has not been augmented for the past two decades, while the population in the same period has nearly doubled, putting pressure on the resource.

The city gets most of its water from the Yamuna through Haryana’s canal system. The quantum of water released for Delhi was decided by a Memorandum of Understanding signed with neighbouring States in 1994, which has not been revised since.

The Delhi Jal Board supplies 835 million gallons per day (MGD), while peak demand for water is 1,080 MGD.

“We have a huge migrant population and limited raw water resources. But, compared to States dependent on agriculture, Delhi needs less water as it is for drinking only,” said Jal Board member (water supply) B.M. Dhaul.

The water utility provides treated effluent from its sewage treatment plants for horticulture and is trying to augment groundwater supply in the Palla region. Apart from that, this week’s Union Budget has allocated Rs.500 crore for water reforms in Delhi.

He said the Jal Board welcomed the infusion of funds as they had to “cut down” on projects.

“Things will move faster now. The Centre is aware of Delhi’s needs,” he said, adding that the Rs.50 crore allocation for Renuka Dam in Himachal Pradesh was welcome too.

The project has been pending for 15 years and, if commissioned, will supply 275 MGD of water to Delhi, apart from 40MW of electricity to Himachal Pradesh.

“The Renuka Dam will take about seven years, but it will make sure the city has enough water. It is a national project, so the Centre will be taking it up,” said Mr. Dhaul.

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