Munak canal closure hits water supply in Delhi

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) In the wake of the Munak canal — which supplies water to south Delhi — being closed after vandalisation by Jat protesters, the Delhi government on Saturday said water supply in the capital may be hit, but it has taken certain measures to restore it.

“An emergency meeting of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) was called. The gate of Munak canal is closed at this moment. The demonstrators vandalised the control buttons of the canal as per the messages we have received,” Delhi’s Water Minister Kapil Mishra said.

“It has started affecting the supply of water in Delhi. We took a few decisions in the meeting. We have already started rationing of all the primary reservoirs of water in Delhi. The supply of water will be limited in the morning tomorrow (Sunday). After that, there will be no water in the major plants of Delhi,” said Mishra, who is also the DJB chairman.

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“North, west and central Delhi have been the worst affected. The situation in east and south are comparatively better. A central control room has been set up at DJB. Through this, we will regularly monitor the quality and quantity of water,” he added.

Mishra said the supply of essential commodities in Delhi could also be affected in the next few days.

“It will take at least one day to repair the Munak canal and make it functional. I would plead with the people to save water and not panic. The situation will be serious for the next 2-3 days. The weekend leave of officials of DJB have been cancelled. They have to be on duty.

“We are moving the Supreme Court against the demonstrators who are trying to block the supply of water. This is not just a matter of water. Highways and railway tracks are also being blocked.

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“Even the supply of essential commodities like milk, petrol and vegetables may get affected from tomorrow (Sunday) morning. We hope that the water supply in Delhi will be restored with the intervention of the Supreme Court, Centre and Haryana government,” said Mishra.

He said 60 percent water supply in the capital will be affected.

Apart from Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi plants, the rest of the plants will get affected. The Wazirabad and Chandrawali plants have already closed.

“We have deployed tankers. But if supply doesn’t come from Haryana, then the situation will worsen.”

He said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has spoken to his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar.

“He (Khattar) has assured us that he will take all possible measures to restore the supply of water. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has spoken to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. He said he will ensure that the supply of water in Delhi will not be affected,” Mishra added.

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Haryana has been on the boil with the Jat community demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

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