NEW DELHI: The Delhi government today sought deployment of army engineers to carry out urgent repair of Haryana's Munak Canal, saying it was damaged extensively by Jat protesters before Army took control of the reservoir that supplies 60 per cent of the capital's total water requirement.
Delhi's Water Minister Kapil Mishra wrote separate letters to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, requesting them to deploy army engineers to repair the canal as soon as possible so that normalcy could be restored in supply of water from it to Delhi at the earliest. The Delhi minister has written a similar letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also seeking his intervention to ensure early resumption of supply of water.
Seven water treatment plants in Delhi are lying idle due to disruption in raw water supply from the canal to Delhi, triggering water crisis in west, north, south-west, central and New Delhi areas. "The damage caused to the canal appears to be enormous and all out efforts are required to repair the damage at the earliest," Mishra said in his letter to Singh.
Saying that the Indian Army with its resources and dedicated team of engineers is known for carrying out most difficult tasks in shortest possible time, he urged the Defence Minister to deploy army personnel for repair work. "Considering the situation in Delhi which is worsening with every passing hour, it is requested that appropriate directions may be given for accomplishing this huge task or repair of Munak canal by the Indian Army," he said in his letter to Parrikar.
He also sought adequate security for the Haryana and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) engineers who were carrying out repair of the damaged portions of the canal. Delhi government and DJB are ready and willing to provide all possible assistance, he said in his letter to Khattar urging him to issue appropriate directions. A team of four DJB engineers was today sent by Delhi government to assess damage and give its report about the extent of damage and time required to repair it.
Earlier, the Delhi government said it was expecting to restore by late evening 25 per cent of water supply in the city. "Thank u army, thank u centre for securing munak canal back. Great relief for delhi," Kejriwal said in a tweet. After an emergency meeting, Mishra said that 400 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water was released from Munak subcanal, adding that 25 per cent water supply in Delhi is expected to be restored by late evening.