Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today chaired an emergency meeting to take stock of water supply in the state which has been affected due to protests by the Jat community demanding quota in education and government jobs. The meeting was attended by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Water Minister Kapil Mishra, NDMC Secretary and Delhi Jal Board CEO.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that water rationing would be implemented across the city and urged citizens to conserve water. The decision comes on a day the Supreme Court is likely to hear a plea filed by the AAP government regarding the severe water crisis in the state.
What's Delhi Water Minister saying:
Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra today said, "We are left with no water now. The water supply today morning was the last one. We have moved Supreme Court on water crisis. Petition will be heard on Sunday most probably."
In the wake of the closure of the Munak Canal - a major source of water in Delhi, Mishra held an emergency meeting on Saturday and had assured to restore the functioning of the canal. On the sideline of the meeting Mishra had said, "All underground reservoirs will supply water to the tankers. From Sunday night, we will use water from Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi plants, the only two functional ones, to supply to the rest of Delhi."
Mishra had also announced that the supply of essential commodities in Delhi could also be affected in the next few days. He also said that 760 tankers will serve parched areas from Sunday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appealed to people to save water and also announced of the closure of schools in the city. Sisodia met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday and sought assistance and intervention in the matter. The state government has also asked traffic police to provide free access to water tankers to ferry water at different locations.
Central government assistance:
Holding a review meeting to take stock of the law and order situation in Haryana, Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha today directed the cabinet officials that top priority be given to water supply to Delhi. He also ordered to take all necessary measures so that there is no disruption.
After holding meeting with Sisodia yesterday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also assured of all sort of assistance and support.
Source of water supply in Delhi:
Delhi gets its water from the Ganga Canal, the western Yamuna canal, the Bhakra canal and the Yamuna. Delhi gets 240 MGD from Ganga River, 310 from Yamuna, 140 MGD from Bhakra Beas Management Board and about 115 MGD of ground water is explored through Rainy Wells and Tube Wells of Delhi Jal Board.
According to a Times of India report, Delhi has a demand of close to 1,200 million gallons per day. Out of which Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies and average of 900 MGD per day. At present, only the Ganga-fed Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi plants with a combined treatment capacity of 240 MGD is functional.
The closure of Munak canal - which is crucial to lakhs of citizen in the state - has also impacted largely. A 102 kms cemented water canal that carries water from Haryana to Haridpur in Delhi, started functioning from June last year, after Haryana decided to release 80 MGD of water to meet Delhi's need. The areas that benefit from this 80 MGD of water are South, Southwest, West and Northwest parts of Delhi. It also serves for the functioning of the water treatment plants like Dwarka in west Delhi, Bawana in northwest Delhi and Okhla in south Delhi. On Saturday, the Jat protestors had vandalized the control apparatus of the Munak canal, which resulted in a crisis situation in the national capital.