With the pipelines laid and tested, the town is likely to start getting its share of water from Kajauli waterworks by month-end, reducing its dependence on tubewells and saving groundwater.
Panchkula is entitled to get 12 cusecs of water from Kajauli waterworks which currently supplies water to Mohali and Chandigarh. The share was decided in 1983 in an inter-state agreement on sharing of water from Bhakra for Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula.
While Mohali and Chandigarh have been getting their due, Panchkula’s share was being used by Chandigarh in the absence of pipelines. The issue was raised in the run-up to the 2014 Assembly elections, and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta had listed it as his priority.
On Wednesday, a senior HUDA official said that “all preparations have been done: the pipelines have been laid, and the trial run of the diesel generators has been successful. We are now waiting for the completion of the final phase of work in Chandigarh.”
The current water requirement of Panchkula is around 50 cusec, most of which is supplied by tubewells. Water from Kajauli will be supplied uniformly to all sectors, except Sectors 23 to 32 in the Panchkula Extension which will continue to get water from the Kaushalaya Dam reservoir in Sector 1. Currently, around 6 cusec of water is available from this reservoir.
About the status of work in Chandigarh, Shyam Lal, Executive Engineer, Public Health, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, said, “The ground work is on the verge of completion, and only the electricity supply needs to be provided by the UT Electricity Department. The work is most likely to get completed in next two weeks, then water will be released to Panchkula.”
M P Singh, Superintending Engineer of the UT Electricity Department, said that the work will not take much time. Once the cables are laid by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, they will approach us for the electrical connection”.
HUDA Executive Engineer Preet Mohan said that water from Kajauli would help in improving the supply in many sectors which now had low pressure.
“Most significantly, it will ease the burden of supply on the tubewells which are required to pump water for 22 hours on an average daily. Once, we receive the water from Kajauli, the tubewells will be run for lesser hours which will help in maintaining the groundwater level,” he added.
The residents are also pinning their hopes on the project. “Every year, in summer, we encounter the problem of water shortage, especially those living on the second floor and above. After the disappointment of the Kaushalaya Dam project, we hope that Kajauli water will ease the situation”, said S K Nayar, president of the Citizens Welfare Association.