Guard water pipelines: Delhi minister Atishi asks police to deploy more patrols
Delhi water minister Atishi addresses a press conference, in New Delhi on Saturday | PTI

'Guard water pipelines': Delhi minister Atishi asks police to deploy more patrols

The minister said that sabotage and foul play have exacerbated the water shortage situation even as Delhi grapples with a heat wave

Delhi Water Minister Atishi wrote to Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora on Sunday (June 16), requesting the deployment of personnel to patrol and protect major pipelines for the next 15 days as the national capital grapples with a water crisis.

In her letter, the minister said Delhi is reeling under a severe heat wave and a water crisis.

"Due to shortage of water being received in the Yamuna, water production has fallen by around 70 MGD and many parts of Delhi are experiencing water shortage. In this situation, every drop of water becomes precious," the letter said.

Leakage detected

The Delhi Jal Board has deployed patrol teams for the main water distribution network that carries raw water to the Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) and then from them to the main underground reservoirs in different parts of the city, Atishi said in the letter. "In addition, we have deployed teams under the supervision of ADMs to support in this work." The minister said that on Saturday the DJB's ground patrolling team reported a major leakage in its south Delhi Rising Mains -- the main water pipeline that carries water from Sonia Vihar WTP to south Delhi.

"This was near the DTL sub station in Garhi Medhu. Our patrolling team found that several large 375 mm bolts and one 12 inch bolt had been cut from the pipeline causing the leakage. The fact that several large bolts had been cut seems to indicate foul play and sabotage," the letter read.

Request for police patrols

Atishi requested Arora for deployment of police patrol and protect the city's major pipelines for the next 15 days and prevent "miscreants or people with ulterior motives" from tampering with water pipelines.

"At this juncture any foul play and sabotage will worsen the already difficult water shortage being faced by the people of Delhi," she wrote.

About the pipeline that was damaged, she said a maintenance team worked for six hours in one stretch and repaired the leak.

"... but this meant that we had to stop pumping of water for 6 hours and 20 MGD of water was not pumped during this time. As a consequence a further 25% of water shortage will be experienced in South Delhi," the minister said.

(With agency inputs)

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