Latest

Water Crisis Fears In New Delhi After Canal Sabotaged In Protests

Water Crisis Fears In New Delhi After Canal Sabotaged In Protests

Delhi is on the brink of a severe water crisis after a key supply was cut during protests over jobs in a neighbouring state.

Much of the water supply to the Indian capital was cut off after members of an influential Indian caste sabotaged a canal during protests over job quotas.

A representative from the Jat caste said they had called off their week-long protests which resulted in 19 deaths and thousands of troops being deployed in Haryana, after the northern state’s government accepted their demands.

However the capital’s water board was still striving to restore full supplies to the city of 17 million people.

 

Press TV reports:

Officials said on Tuesday that most of New Delhi’s water supply had been cut off as the Munak canal was being repaired in the neighboring northern state of Haryana, where the protests were staged.

Indian security forces secure the Munak canal, which supplies water to New Delhi, in Haryana’s Sonipat district, February 22, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Indian security forces secure the Munak canal, which supplies water to New Delhi, in Haryana’s Sonipat district, February 22, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The Munak canal provides about 60 percent of the water used by New Delhi’s 17 million population.

Authorities warned that the crisis could take up to 15 days to fix, a day after the Indian army gained control of the canal from the protesting Jat rural community.

“We are hoping to restore partial services in the next two to three days and 100 percent supply within next 15 days,” senior water board official Neeraj Semwal said.

Some reports said water supplies had been partially restored to New Delhi.

Demonstrators, mostly from the Jat rural community, had been taking to the streets of Haryana over caste rights over the past few days. Clashes left 19 people dead, while hundreds of others were injured.

Traditionally seen as an affluent and thus upper caste, the Jat community was designated a “backward caste” by the government back in March 2014.

The Indian Supreme Court overturned the decision the following year and ruled that Jat should not be entitled to government jobs and university seats reserved for Other Backward Castes (OBCs) under the Indian Constitution.

The community, however, has challenged the Supreme Court ruling, demanding the same privileges as lower castes.

The Indian government on Monday vowed to introduce a bill on reservations and quotas for the Jat community in the next assembly session.