AS MANY as 38 water tankers were pressed into service across the city on Thursday, Day One of the water crisis. As a result, supply would be affected from March 22 to 24. The Municipal Corporation had issued an alert that due to the repair of a pipeline in Phase-III near Pakki Rurki village in Punjab, there will be no pumping of raw water from phases III and IV of Kajauli Waterworks to Sector 39, Chandigarh. Because of this, supply to the entire city would be affected.
The worst affected were residents of sectors 22, 23,24,25, Dhanas, southern belt, that is sectors 39, 40, 41, 42, Buterla village, Attawa, 43, 44, 47, 48 to 51. Those on the upper floors faced low water pressure.
An official of the Municipal Corporation’s public health wing said, “Before summers approach, we want to carry out repairs so that there is no problem at peak time. As the machinery is quite old, it requires repairs.” These frequent breakdowns of pipelines are occurring despite the fact that the Chandigarh MC pays Rs 1.6 crore to the public health department of the Punjab government as maintenance charges besides Rs 27 crore for electricity used to pump water to the city.
At present, UT gets 85 million gallons daily (MGD). Of this, about 58 MGD comes from Kajauli Waterworks, Phases I, II, III and IV, and the remaining 27 MGD is generated through 250 tubewells. In summer, the demand goes up to 116 MGD and a gap in the demand and supply arises.
Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh Chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu, said it was just two weeks back when there was a severe water crisis in the city because of repair in the same phase. “On March 9, they had shut down supply to carry out repair at the same Phase 3 and now again, they have shut down supply for repairs. Is this smart city? How will we get 24*7 water supply,” he added.
Preeti, a resident of Sector 49, said, “I have Navratra pooja at home tomorrow and already we are facing water scarcity. I feel the situation has deteriorated in the last three to four years.”