Jat stir dries up taps in New Delhi as water treatment plants are shut

Left with no option, the Delhi government has started rationing water and announced that all government schools will remain closed on Monday.

Photo: Mail Today Photo: Mail Today

As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal put it, the city is facing an 'unprecedented water crisis'. 60 per cent of Delhi's water supply has been hit due to Jat quota protest in Haryana, which has led to disruption of water supply from the Munak Canal. This has caused closure of seven out of nine water treatment plants in the national capital.

Left with no option, the Delhi government has started rationing water and announced that all government schools will remain closed on Monday. On Sunday, water reservoirs in Delhi ran out of stock as treatment plants were shut down due to unavailability of water from Munak canal.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials said the city will continue to reel under water crisis even if the protest is called off now. Violent protesters have damaged the control panel of Munak canal and it will take more than 24 hours for water to first reach Delhi and then be treated before it can be supplied to houses.

According to DJB officials, Delhi produced 820 Million Gallons (MGD) of potable water per day on an average. Because of disruption of supply from Haryana, Delhi is only getting 240 MGD from other neighbouring states.

Appealing for conservation of water, Kejriwal said Delhi Government has been pursuing both the Haryana and Central governments since Saturday to seek army help to open the Munak canal.

The Delhi Government has decided to exclude emergency services like hospitals, fire department, defence installation along with Rashtrapati Bhavan, residence of the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India from rationing of water supply.

However, AAP government claims no special privileges will be given to VIPs. "We have done rationing of water based on demand and supply of the area concerned. Equal amount of water will reach the Chief Minister and other MLAs and the common man," Kapil Mishra, Delhi's water minister, said.

On Sunday, several parts Delhi faced water problems. Residents had to call up private tankers.

The government has now asked Delhiites to be prepared for the next few days and conserve water. "No water is available now. If something is not done right away, Delhi will face an unmanageable crisis," Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia said, adding he has directed all schools to be closed on Monday due to water crisis DJB said their teams have managed to supply water in small quantities to most areas on Sunday evening. It will try to do so on Monday morning as well, but if the problem persists the city will face an unprecedented crisis.

The situation in south and east Delhi is better than the rest of city as Sonia Vihar and Bhagarathi plants are getting water from the upper Ganga Canal. West, north-west, central, south and parts of north Delhi are the worstaffected areas. DJB has said it will cater to these areas after taking help from tanker services.

The water department has made 140 filling points functional and created 14 new filling points overnight, where tankers will be filled through the night.

"We have cancelled weekend offs of all DJB officials and have deployed them to manage this emergency situation. Through our central control room we are monitoring every tanker. Their location, quantity of water, time left to reach the destination and number of trips made is being monitored closely," Mishra said. Through the call centre, official are mapping areas in crisis based on complaints received.

(In association with Mail Today Bureau)