MORE THAN a year after water from Kajauli waterworks was released for Panchkula after a long wait, the town has not been able to receive complete supply of water as committed earlier. Panchkula receives 9 cusecs of water against the commitment of 12 cusecs.
The water was released in June 2015 following a long-pending demand of Panchkula residents. It was in adherence to a water-sharing agreement signed in 1983, according to which, water from Bhakra through the Kajauli waterworks was to be supplied to Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula in specific proportions.
While both Punjab and Chandigarh had been receiving their share, Panchkula’s water share was being used by Chandigarh ever since. However, even after a year of its release, Panchkula has not received the full supply. Asserting that the commitment was made for 12 cusecs, HUDA superintending engineer S K Mehta maintains that only 9 cusec is released. “We have written letters to the Chandigarh Administration and highlighted the issue. However, it is yet to be taken up,” Mehta said.
The current water requirement of Panchkula is around 55 cusecs, which is largely met by 180 tubewells maintained by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The water from Kajauli waterworks was mainly meant to augment the depleting water table, as the water is not supplied to households.
“It was largely meant to ease the burden of supply on tubewells, which are run for over 22 hours per day to provide water to all residential sectors. If we get more supply from Kajauli, the tubewells could be made to run for lesser hours. This will help save groundwater,” said an official from HUDA.
Six cusec water which is available for use from Kaushalaya Dam after treatment is also no longer available as the reservoir is running dry.