Chandigarh : Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, is consuming too much of drinking water – the governments of both states feel.
Both the state governments have made it known to administrative officials of Chandigarh, a centrally-administered city, that the water being made available to the city is almost double the national norm.
“The availability of water supply in Chandigarh as of today is 285 LPCD (litres per capita per day) compared to the national norm of 150 LPCD – which is far higher,” Punjab’s chief secretary S.C. Aggarwal told a meeting of officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh held here Tuesday.
“The availability of drinking water is to be realistically assessed and has to be managed efficiently. As such, additional water supply requirement of Chandigarh should be judicially worked out,” he added.
Sources in the administration told IANS that the Punjab and Haryana governments were respectively seeking more water for Mohali and Panchkula towns, both adjoining Chandigarh.
The population of Chandigarh is nearly 1.1 million while Mohali and Panchkula have a combined population of over 400,000 residents.
The meeting of officials of both states and the union territory was called following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court last month asking them to resolve the issue of distribution of drinking water among Chandigarh and the adjoining towns.
The high court was seized of the matter following a civil writ petition filed before it in this regard.
Officials from Punjab and Haryana pointed out that while a lot of water was being made available for Chandigarh, the requirements of Mohali and Panchkula were not being adequately met.
Ironically, Chandigarh has moved a fresh proposal seeking 40 million gallons per day (MGD) water more for itself and adjoining areas.
This includes 5 MGD for Mohali and 3 MGD for Panchkula and Chandimandir cantonment towns.
The state governments have pointed out that the growth of Chandigarh, in future, will not be as much as those of the adjoining towns and their water requirements need to be looked into.
Chandigarh presently gets over 80 MGD of water from the Bhakra mainline canal in Punjab. The water is brought to the city through a 27-km-long pipeline from Kajauli village in Punjab.
Public health officials in Chandigarh say that the water requirement of the city is around 120 MGD. They say that the administration has deposited over Rs.170 crore with the Punjab government for the augmentation of the water supply to the city.