The agenda for the installation of 45 tubewells in the city was given approval in the meeting of the General House of the Municipal Corporation on Friday,after some objections to it were raised. With 9 million gallons (MGD) of water to be diverted daily to Haryana in the coming months,the proposal was mooted to tide over the shortage.
When the issue was taken up in the Finance and Contract Committee meeting,it was opined that discussion was required. A table agenda for discussion was moved.
Councillor Arun Sood suggested that expertise of the Central Ground Water Board on the issue be sought. He said that instead of installing such a large number of tubewells,some alternatives should be looked into. It was argued that there should be a gap of between 100 and 200 metres between tubewells to have sufficient catchment area. In accordance with the plan prepared,multiple tubewells are to be installed in particular areas. It was further opined that the use of tertiary treated water be promoted.
Chandigarh receives 87 mgd water,of which 67 is from Kajauli Water Works and 20 mgd is from tubewells. The peak summer demand is more than 113 mgd. With 9 mgd water being diverted,it could lead to shortage during the next summer season.
The water samples of shallow tubewells tested by the MC revealed that this was unfit for drinking. The samples contained traces of biological impurities and ammonia. Councillors opined that before tubewells are installed,some assessment should be done on whether adequate water is present at the location.
Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said that until the Punjab and Haryana governments give their consent,no additional water can be supplied to Chandigarh through Kajauli. He said that either people should be made aware about using water judiciously or alternate sources of water have to be found. He said that there was technical expertise in MC and tubewells would be installed after due consideration.
Councillor Davesh Moudgil raised the issue that an interstate development council should be constituted,comprising of representatives of Punjab,Haryana,Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. This council would be able to deal with issues involving the states and Chandigarh.