The Capital is facing a distorted water supply. The fallout from a devastating flash flood in Uttarakhand hit Delhi more than 500 kilometres downstream on Monday, when water supply was cut to tens of thousands of residents.
Authorities blamed the high quantities of mud and debris from the February 7 deluge, which left more than 50 dead and 150 missings, for the shortage.
The Rishiganga valley in Uttarakhand is 530 kilometres upstream to the northeast of Delhi its water is a key supplier for the capital.
Authorities would not say how long taps would be shut down. The flood swept through the valley devastating a power complex and destroying roads and bridges. Rescuers are just starting to pull out bodies from a tunnel engulfed by mud and debris where more than 30 workers were believed to be trapped.
The flood is believed to have been triggered by a chunk of glacier sliding down a mountainside or a glacial lake breaching its banks.
Water from the valley flows into the river Ganga and from there to Delhi. Raghav Chadha, the vice-chairperson of Delhi’s water board, urged residents to use water “judiciously” as two of the city’s main water treatment plants were unable to operate at full capacity due to the dirty raw water.
He said teams were “deployed round the clock” cleaning filters and “flushing high ammonia raw water.” Delhi, which has a population of over 20 million, faces water shortages every summer.
Sixty per cent of the water supplied in Delhi comes from the Yamuna River and about 34% from Ganga. Both have faced severe pollution problems in recent years.