The quality control department of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) said the ammonia levels as high as 8.4ppm were being recorded while Delhi’s water treatment plants had the capacity to treat levels up to 1ppm.
During the morning hours, Okhla Water Treatment Plant was operating at 78% capacity, the Wazirabad plant at 72% and the Chandrawal plant units at 58%. A senior DJB official said a shortfall of 78MGD was recorded. DJB daily supplies 920-930MGD water. The raw water is being diluted from other sources to reduce the pollutant load and diversion can lead to low-pressure water supply in tail-end areas, said an official.
DJB vice-chairman Raghav Chadha wrote to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who also holds the portfolio of irrigation and water resources, on Wednesday. “The crisis being faced adversely impacts the drinking water supply of major areas of Delhi, including diplomatic missions, embassies, President’s House, Supreme Court, along with hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. I implore you to extend your cooperation on humanitarian grounds keeping in mind the unprecedented emergency of Covid-19,” the letter stated.
The quantity of water coming from Haryana has also gone down significantly, alleged DJB. The water for the Wazirabad and Chadrawal plants is drawn directly from the Wazirabad barrage. Instead of the normal levels of 674.5ft at the Wazirabad pondage area, the levels dropped to 671.3ft on Wednesday, an official said. “The combination of these two factors have led to alarming levels of drop in water production capacity,” the letter stated.
The impacted areas fall in west, north, central and south Delhi, including Delhi Cantonment and New Delhi Municipal Council areas. Some of the key localities include Civil Lines, Lahori Gate, Old Sabzi Mandi, Jhandewalan, Patparganj, Rajendra Nagar, Karol Bagh, Central Secretariat, RK Puram, Vasant Vihar, Sarojini Nagar, Kalkaji, Tughlaqabad, Lodhi Colony, Defence Colony, Moolchand and Sundar Nagar.
As a upper riparian state, Haryana is serviced not only by the Yamuna but also the Markanda, Somb and the Ghaggar, Chadha wrote. “Haryana has the fortune of abundance of availability of drinking water, with the per capita availability of drinking water being far higher than Delhi. As a lower riparian state, Delhi is dependent on Haryana to ensure supply of clean and adequate water.”