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Army rescues Delhi's water source; supply to struggle for 10 days

Last updated on: February 22, 2016 11:42 IST
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Army and paramilitary personnel on Monday took control of a key canal in Haryana's Sonepat, the key source of Delhi's water supply, after evicting Jat protesters.

Around 600 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and two columns of Army took over control of the Munak canal at around 4 am and started repair work to ensure uninterrupted water supply to Delhi, official sources said.

All protesters who were squatting at the site were evicted.

The action came after the Jat protests in Haryana demanding reservation disrupted water supply to Delhi, leading to water crisis in the national capital.

The Delhi government on Monday said operations of the Munak Canal, which has been badly damaged by Jat agitators, would resume after a week to ten days.

"The news that is coming in from Haryana is that the army has taken control of the Munak canal. The doors of the canal, however, have still not been opened. It is reported that the protestors have damaged it badly. So, it will take some time to repair," Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra told reporters after attending the meeting at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residencee.

"Secondly there is a sub-branch from which water supply has started and it would take around five-six hours to reach Delhi. Around 400 cusec water has been released, but only 300 cusec would reach Delhi through this branch. If this water comes to us without any delay and interruption, we would be able to partially restore water supply by this evening. The Haidurpur plant would be the first to be started," he added.

The minister also said that the Delhi Jal Board team has already been sent to the Munak Canal in Haryana to assess and repair it, and it would provide all resources to the Haryana Government whether it is machinery, man power, etc.

"The damaged Munak Canal can take around 7-10 days to be repaired and become fully operational. I, therefore, appeal to all the Delhi citizens to use water in an efficient manner and conserve it.

Meanhwhile, Delhi Jal Board CEO Keshav Chandra appealed to the people to use water conservatively.

"The next 10 days will be crucial. I appeal to people to use water conservatively," Chandra said.

Yielding to pressure from agitating Jats, the BJP on Sunday night announced setting up of a five-member committee under a senior Central minister to examine the quota demand for the community in government jobs.

The areas affected due to the closure of plants are West Delhi, North-West, Central, South and part of North Delhi.

"Against the total production of 820 million gallons per day of potable water, only 240 MGD is being produced, because of the disruption of the supply source from Haryana. DJB's tanker fleet has been fully redirected to the water deficient areas. The situation at Wazirabad is being constantly monitored. In this emergent situation, the people of Delhi are requested to use water with the utmost care," a statement by the Delhi Jal Board said.

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