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Sirhind Canal closure leads to water crisis
Residents, under the banner of Democratic Rights Sabha, meet the Deputy Commissioner regarding the problem of drinking water in Bathinda on Thursday.

Sirhind Canal closure leads to water crisis

Was closed for 20 days for maintenance work from Nov 17, residents meet DC, submit memo14 Dec 2018 | 12:40 AM

BATHINDA: The closure of Sirhind Canal by the Irrigation Department for past around one month has led to water crisis in the city and villages in the region.

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Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 13

The closure of Sirhind Canal by the Irrigation Department for past around one month has led to water crisis in the city and villages in the region.

It was closed for 20 days for maintenance work from November 17 to December 7, but till date the Water Supply Department has no confirmation regarding when the water supply would be resumed into the canal.

Water level in the storage tanks has reached low and the department is supplying water by making temporary arrangements on alternate days and that too only 50 per cent.

Moreover, this can only work for five more days after which the water supply would be stopped.

Water Supply Department SDO Ravi Kumar said, “We don’t have any confirmation from the Irrigation Department about when the water would be released in the canal. Water level has reached low beds in the tanks and we are making temporary arrangements and providing water supply on alternate days to the residents. But it would also work for five more days.”

Irked residents, under the banner of NGO Democratic Rights Sabha, on Thursday submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner highlighting that there was a serious crisis of water for drinking and agricultural use in the city and villages.

They alleged that poor water storage arrangements were done by the Municipal Corporation and Irrigation Department for the closure of canal.

In the memorandum, they have stated that water is essential for human survival and to ensure its supply was the constitutional right of the state government. So the closure of Sirhind Canal should be undone and any pending repair works should be completed later.

Further, they claimed that to ensure regular water supply to the residents, the capacity of water tanks should be increased.

Even the requirement of water for agricultural purpose should also be kept in mind and such long closure should not be made.

They demanded that repair work done in the canal should be made public and desilting of water tanks should be completed at the earliest.

Several areas in the city are reeling under the scarcity of drinking water for the past several days as the canal has been closed for maintenance work. Those residing in areas at more height than average are the worst hit.

The inadequate water supply has forced the residents to rely on groundwater, which is said to be contaminated.

Repeated attempts were made to contact Irrigation Department XEN GS Bahia, but he remained unavailable.

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