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Water crisis deepens as second pond level dips,CM calls team

The water problem in the city is expected to worsen with the level at the Wazirabad pond dipping two feet below its optimum level on Wednesday.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2012 1:15:00 am

The water problem in the city is expected to worsen with the level at the Wazirabad pond dipping two feet below its optimum level on Wednesday.

The Capital is already struggling with acute water shortage for the past 15 days,due to an alleged curtailment in supply by Haryana to the Haiderpur Plant.

For a city that usually runs short by over 300 million gallons daily (MGD) during peak summers — including technical and unaccounted losses — the dip in Wazirabad pond level will mean that the three important treatment plants might not work full capacity.

“We will be forced to cut production at the Wazirabad and Chandrawal water treatment plants. The pond level at Wazirabad has gone down to 672.8 feet,against a mandate of 674.5 feet. Production at the Haiderpur plant is already down by over 15 per cent. The pond is not receiving even 385 cusecs,against the mandate of 425 cusecs,” a senior official of the Delhi Jal Board said.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit called an emergency meeting on Wednesday,instructing the DJB to ensure equitable supply of drinking water.

The DJB,on its part,sought immediate intervention of the Member Secretary of the Upper Yamuna River Board.

“Haryana has been advised to maintain the canal level at 710 feet and allow free flow to Haiderpur water treatment plant,so that the mandated supply of 425 cusecs is actually available at Haiderpur. The production at Haiderpur has come down to about 192 MGD against its normal production of 210 MGD,” DJB spokesperson Sanjam Chima said.

Dikshit has asked the DJB to file a daily report on the quality of drinking water. “There will be zero tolerance on diversion of tankers. Any violation on scheduled time frame of deployment of tankers will not be tolerated and responsible employee will be straightway dismissed,” she warned.

Haryana blames Delhi for a “breach” in the carrier line channel (CLC) from Munak to Delhi,but the line is still to be commissioned.

A review report prepared in April by Chetan Pandit,chairman of the Upper Yamuna River Board,states: “This is a case study of how trust deficit can build if partners in an MoU act unilaterally. It would have been better if Delhi had taken Haryana into confidence before making the said breach… Had that been done,there is a fair chance that the present dispute would not have arisen and the CLC would have been commissioned by now.”

Reflecting on the present impasse,the report notes: “The situation as on 31-03-2012 is — the CLC is ready except for this breach (at Iradat Nagar),but the dispute on who will use the saved water and how to close the said breach is preventing commissioning of the CLC. Meanwhile,a significant quantity of water is being lost through seepage.”

“Now that a breach has been made,from a purely engineering and economic perspective,it is reasonable that this is the right time to do the works for connecting the CLC to the new intake structure. Doing it later would mean having to close the CLC and disrupt the supplies,” concludes the report.

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