Several 'unauthorised' colonies in Delhi face water shortage

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) With temperature soaring in the national Capital, several areas in the city are reeling under chronic water crisis. The worst hit are the unauthorised colonies including in Devli, Badarpur, Kanjhawala, Dwarka, Narela, Sangam Vihar, Burari, Khanpur, Bawana, Mohan Garden areas, which have very less piped water coverage.

Community taps installed for these colonies either run dry for days or just have water for a couple of hours, resulting in long queues for getting even drinking water.

Residents complain that they have to walk several kilometres in scorching heat to fill water to meet their daily needs. "I have to walk for over eight km every day in the afternoon to fill water for my family. The supply water only comes for an hour or two in the afternoon, that too not daily," said 50-year-old Kamla, who is a resident of Devli area.

The city has been facing acute water shortage ever since the summer kicked in, depleting the ground water in the city. The residents of other areas also complained of receiving a significant reduction in the supply water.

"There has been a huge reduction in the water supplied in our locality for over a month now. Even the flow of water has gone down significantly forcing us to keep the motor running for more hours, consuming more electricity," said Sandhya Verna, a Hauz Khas resident.

The Delhi government, however, said its water treatment plants are running at full capacity. "At the time the country is facing acute water crisis and all reservoirs have dried up, Delhi is supplying more water than its capacity," Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Vice Chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said.

He said that since this government assumed charge, the water production in national Capital has been increased from 830 MGD to 936 MGD. He also said that the DJB pipelines have connected 600 unauthorised colonies in Najafgarh, Bijwasan and Devli, and others, which has happened for the first time in the city.

Mohaniya added that DJB is increasing the water production by constructing new water treatment plants stressing that adequate raw water is available. "We will be building two water treatment plants -- one of 105 MGD in Chandrawal and another of 50 MGD in Dwarka phase II," he said.

He added, "Another water treatment plant of 14 MGD will come up in Okhla. Also, to resolve the problem of ammonia in East Delhi areas, sn ammonia treatment plant will be constructed, which will produce another 18 MGD," he said.

His comments came several hours after a BJP delegation held the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) CEO Nikhil Kumar "captive" for more than 10 hours at the utility's headquarters over alleged lack of water supply in the city.

"In the yesterday's incident, BJP MP Goel held hostage the DJB officials in their office, despite them not having a specific complaint. When they were asked about water contamination they couldn't tell us specifically. The people who accompanied him just wanted to disrupt the functioning of DJB," he said adding that the DJB CEO has lodged a complaint on the yesterday's incident with police.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the power and water woes being faced by the people in the city.

--IANS

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