Other States

Repair of Munak Canal may take longer than estimated

Repair work in progress at Munak Canal near Bindroli village in Haryana on Friday.— Photo: V. Sudershan  

Delhiites are likely to suffer water shortage for a month, as damage done to Munak Canal by protestors in Haryana last week may take longer to repair than the initial estimate of 15 days.

Delhi’s lifeline, the 102-km canal brings about 70 per cent of the city’s water from Haryana. A week after Jat protestors first blocked the carrier-lined channel (CLC) on February 19, the canal was a mess on Friday when The Hindu visited the site. Where over 700 cusecs of raw water flowed till last week, there were heavy earth movers and labourers trying to repair the 200-feet breach.

A mob of Jat protestors laid siege to the canal gates of at Mundela village in Haryana. The protestors, demanding reservation in Haryana, first blocked gates to stop supply at Mundela. The Haryana Irrigation Department staff stationed at the gates fled seeing the mob.

“There were about 5,000 people coming in from all sides. There are just two of us stationed here in each shift. We called the police and left,” said an Irrigation Department employee.

As the crowd thinned out overnight, the staff was able to open the mechanically-operated gates and managed to release 100 cusecs of water. When the protestors, camping in nearby villages, came to know, they blocked the water supply 35 km upstream at Khubdu village. With the Army reaching Mundela to secure the canal, the mob damaged the canal on February 21.

The Department workers said the protestors managed to inflict massive damage using shovels.

“They first broke the lining. When the water rushed in, they dug the earth underneath. This led to the breach,” said a senior official.

The Delhi Jal Board, however, said the protestors managed to bring in a heavy earth mover (JCB) while security personnel looked on. An FIR has been filed at Kharkhoda police station against unknown persons.

Meanwhile, the repairs continued on Friday with 11 trucks being deployed to bring earth. A total of 390 dumpers of earth had been filled till the afternoon. Army and CRPF jawans have been deployed at the gates and along the canal to make sure the repair work is not affected again.

“About 15 per cent of the work has been done. We are filling earth and compacting it. After that, we will begin brick-laying and securing the lining of the canal,” said a DJB official.

According to officials, it could be a month till normal supply is restored.

Refusing to comment on the duration, DJB chairperson Kapil Mishra said: “No matter how long it takes, the work should be done properly. I will visit the site on Saturday for another inspection.”

While the CLC is repaired, Haryana has been releasing additional water through the Delhi-sub branch canal — an old kachcha canal that runs parallel to the CLC. However, the CLC has a capacity of 720 cusecs, while the DSB can carry 350 cusecs.

Till the CLC is repaired, parts of Delhi, particularly Dwarka, will continue to suffer. On Friday, the DJB managed to supply 830 MGD of water, down from the average of 890 MGD.

Several heavy earth movers and labourers are trying to repair the

200-foot breach

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:40:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/repair-of-munak-canal-may-take-longer-than-estimated/article8290775.ece

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