THE CHANDIGARH Municipal Corporation has no power back-up for its 220 tubewells across the city which provide 22 million gallons daily (mgd) water to the city. With UT likely to face rotational power cuts in the summer due to no additional power from Jammu and Kashmir this time, residents may have to face a crisis in the absence of any power back-up.
At a meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee in 2013, the then members had recommended installation of power generators for the tubewells so that the supply of water is not affected. However, the recommendation was never implemented.
At present, the water availability in the UT is 87 MGD. Of this, 22 MGD is drawn from tubewells while 65 MGD comes from the Kajauli waterworks. However, if there is a power failure at the Kajauli waterworks or a leakage is reported, the city reels under crisis as there is no supply.
Surinder Bahga, former nominated councillor, said, “This issue has been debated in the House so many times. What if there is a total breakdown? The condition is such that water tankers have to be pressed into service. Why to have a hanging structure?”
Every time when there is a power outage, the area reels under water shortage because tubewells do not have any power back-up.
“This is the need of the hour. Even as the MC may be spending crores on laying new pipelines, it must pay attention to maintaining the existing infrastructure as well,” said a BJP councillor on condition of anonymity.
The MC has installed a power generator only at the Kajauli waterworks. In case of power failure, the city only receives half of the total water supply from Kajauli because the power generator is of low capacity and caters only to two of the four supply lines.
A senior official of the public health wing of the Municipal Corporation said, “In fact, the most important requirement is to have generators at the waterworks. We are now planning to upgrade the waterworks and making available generators there would be part of it.”
The water demand during summers even reached up to 120 MGD. While for the additional water supply, it will still take one year to get additional 40 MGD water from new pipelines at Kajauli.