With water woes staring at the city,the UT Administration is likely to approach the governments of Punjab and Haryana for a permanent solution to the problem. At present,augmentation of water supply in Chandigarh is stalled due to the dispute between the two states.
The issue was raised at a meeting of the co-ordination committee that was held between the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation on Tuesday. It was decided that Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil would be apprised of the situation and the future course of action decided.
Chandigarh depends primarily on Kajauli Water Works for water supply. While some amount of water is received through tubewells,there is no other source of water generation in the city. The MC has proposed installation of 46 new tubewells for additional water supply. In fact,concern is already being expressed on the falling water table due to which tubewells are not likely to function properly.
The project that Chandigarh had prepared for Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme Phase V and VI of Kajauli was put into cold storage due to the refusal of the Punjab government to release water. Due to the dispute between Punjab and Haryana over sharing of water,the share that can be released to Chandigarh is also uncertain.
Mayor Subhash Chawla says,The share of Chandigarh in water supply should be fixed. This would benefit the future generations. The issue was discussed at length in the meeting. The city should not be made a party to the dispute between
the two states. The need for the administration to approach a tribunal to settle the dispute was also discussed. It has been decided that these issues would be taken up with the administrator to decide on the future course of action.
The administration has also asked the Municipal Corporation for a hike in the water tariff. It was stated that the consumption in the northern sectors is much higher than that in the rest of the sectors. In order to check this,it was stated that the tariff for the higher slabs be increased. A need to curtail the usage of water was highlighted. The consumption in northern sectors is 1,000 to 2,000 litres per capita per day while in the other sectors,it is around 250 litres per capita per day.
It was decided that a seminar of all stakeholders be held in order to discuss the issue. Apart from experts in the field and officials,the residents would also be invited.