New Delhi: An unprecedented water crisis loomed large over the national capital on Thursday with neighbouring Haryana drastically cutting supply, leaving various treatment plants short of raw water and areas across Delhi parched.
Areas across the city have already been grappling with acute shortage of water and the situation may worsen further as production at water treatment plants has come down sharply due to shortage of raw water.
Top officials in the Delhi government said most areas in the city will face severe water shortage and accused the neighbouring state of playing "foul" with Delhi on the water issue.
"People of Delhi are bound to face acute shortage of drinking water as Haryana has arbitrarily and drastically curtailed raw water supply," said a late night statement from the chief minister's office.
Considering the gravity of the situation, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit have been trying to speak to her Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda but to no avail, sources said.
Expressing anger at Haryana cutting raw water, the chief minister's office said the Delhi government would take up the issue "at all levels" as Delhi is not just a city but the national capital.
"We are not asking for any favour. We want what is due to us," it said.
Officials said Chief Secretary PK Tripathi and DJB CEO Debashree Mukherjee have also been requesting top officials in the Haryana government to release water to Delhi but so far no positive indication has come from the neighbouring state.
They said production of water in various treatment plants has come down by 45 million gallon per day (MGD) which would leave most people "thirsty" on Friday.
"The residents of North, West, New Delhi and Walled city will have to face a very difficult situation in their localities," the statement from Dikshit's office said.
"It is expected that around 25 lakh residents in Khayala, Patel Nagar, Moti Nagar, Kirti Nagar, Narela, Bawana Wazirabad, and old Delhi localities will be severely affected," it said.
The officials said around 40 lakh people in various areas of the city will face severe shortage of drinking water due to cut in supply by Haryana.
The production of water at Wazirabad treatment plant has gone down by 30 MGD while Haiderpur plant produced 15 MGD water less.
The current average demand of potable water in the city is around 1,100 mgd (million gallons per day) and currently Delhi Jal Board is supplying around 750 mgd water.
DJB officials said the water level at the Wazirabad pond has also come down sharply due to cut in supply by Haryana.
Water treatment plants at Haiderpur, Wazirabad and Chandrawal rely on raw water supply from the Wazirabad pond.
Upset over Haryana not heeding to Delhi's request for supply of more water, Dikshit on Tuesday had said that she would seek the Prime Minister's intervention in finding an early solution to the Munak canal dispute with the neighbouring state.
The Munak canal was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 400 crore given by Delhi government on the condition that the national capital will be supplied 80 MGD water from it. But later, Haryana refused to supply the water to the city.
Chief Secretary Tripathi on Monday had asked his Haryana counterpart PK Chaudhery to release more water to Delhi to address the problem
of water shortage but the latter turned down the request.