Ten million without water in Delhi


India caste unrest: Ten million without water in Delhi

Media captionOne Delhi resident said his household had been without water for four days

More than 10 million people in India”s capital, Delhi, are without water after protesters sabotaged a key canal which supplies much of the city.

The army has took control of the Munak canal after Jat community protesters, angry at caste job quotas, seized it.

Keshav Chandra, head of Delhi”s water board, told the BBC it would take “three to four days” before normal supplies resumed to affected areas.

All Delhi”s schools have been closed because of the water crisis.

Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots.

At the scene: Defiant India protesters stand ground in Haryana

Watch: What future for India”s caste system?

Sixteen million people live in Delhi, and around three-fifths of the city”s water is supplied by the canal.

Mr Chandra said that prior warnings meant that people had managed to save water, and tankers had been despatched to affected areas of the city, but that this would not be enough to make up for the shortfall.

The army took control of parts of the canal on Monday morning, but repairs are expected to take time.

The BBC”s Sanjoy Majumder, who is near Delhi”s border with neighbouring Haryana state, said protesters who have set up road blocks are refusing to budge.

“We don”t trust them. Let”s get something in writing. Let them spell it out,” one demonstrator who refused to be named told the BBC.

Image caption
The Munak canal which was damaged by Jat protesters
Image caption
Millions in the Indian capital are without running water
Image caption
Families are dependent on tankers delivering water supplies

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the army was “trying to assess in how much time water would reach Delhi and whether any damage had been done to the canal”.

Protesters went on the rampage despite a curfew and the deployment of the army, which is reported to have opened fire on them in the districts of Rohtak and Jhajjar.

Why are the Jats angry?

Media captionSanjoy Majumder said protesters had created road blocks “effectively encircling Delhi”

Haryana state minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the situation was returning to normal, traffic had resumed on national highways and that railway lines between Delhi and the cities of Jaipur and Chandigarh had reopened.

Mr Sharma also confirmed that the government would introduce a bill on reservations and quotas for the Jat community in the next assembly session, although he did not say when that would be.

Meanwhile, India”s federal government has said it will set up a top-level committee to look into the grievances of Jats.

The violence had earlier forced the closure of several key roads and national highways, and paralysed the railway system in northern India.

Are you in the affected region? Let us know about your experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions