The completion date for the Munak Canal,which will augment Delhis raw water supply by 80 million gallons a day and was to be completed by 2006,has been pushed back,once again,to June-end this year.
Even as Delhi faces another summer of water shortages,no relief will be forthcoming from this Rs 315- crore project.
Ramesh Negi,Delhi Jal Board CEO,said: The Haryana Irrigation Department has extended the completion date for the project to June-end. Some land-related issues with MTNL and NDPL have delayed the project one more time. We are closely monitoring the situation.
The 102-km canal is being built by the Haryana government between Munak,on the Haryana border,and Haiderpur in Delhi. The Delhi government has paid Rs 315 crore for the construction of this concrete channel,which was proposed in 2003. To be completed by 2006 initially,the project was delayed due to land-related issues and the completion date was put off till October 2008. After yet another delay,Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta had announced earlier this year that the project would be completed before the summer.
While the daily water demand of the city is pegged at 1,100 MGD,the DJB is equipped to supply not more than 850 MGD.
Water treatment plants
Additional water supply to Delhi wont be of much help in any case this summer. The Munak Canal,once completed,will help in preventing the loss of water through seepage along the Western Yamuna Canal,which carries water from Haryana to Delhi.
The water thus saved is expected to help in running a 20-MGD water treatment plant at Okhla,a 20-MGD water treatment plant at Bawana and a 50-MGD water treatment plant at Dwarka.
While the water treatment plants at Okhla and Dwarka are yet to be constructed,the Bawana plant commissioned in 2000 has been abandoned ever since for want of water,DJB sources said.
The transformers at the water treatment plant have been stolen,the lines have oxidised and the iron machinery is all rusted. It will take at least six months to start the plant all over again, a senior DJB official said.
Sonia Vihar plant brings little relief
Though the 140-MGD water treatment plant at Sonia Vihar is working closer to its capacity at 133 MGD now,it has not solved Delhis water situation,particularly in its command areasSouth and East Delhi. The government had earlier cited reasons like the shortage of raw water supply from the Tehri Dam and under-construction underground reservoirs and booster pumping stations for the shortfall. The city is still reeling under a water crisis despite a sufficient raw water supply from the Tehri Dam and completion of construction of all major underground reservoirs. Vasant Kunj,Patparganj,Chhatarpur and Mehrauli are major areas still trying to get a regular water supply despite an expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore by the DJB.