10 million people without water in Delhi after protests

ISLAMABAD: More than 10 million people in India’s capital New Delhi are without water despite the Indian security forces regaining control of its key water source after protests, Indian officials said on Monday.

Jat community protesters demanding more government jobs seized the Munak canal, the city’s main water source. Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots.

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

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

Schools in the city were also closed after supplies from the canal were sabotaged during the protests. The Indian security forces took control of parts of the canal on Monday morning, but repairs are expected to take time.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Indian security forces were “trying to assess in how much time water would reach Delhi and whether any damage had been done to the canal”.

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

Senior administration official PK Das said that 16 people had died and about 300 were injured, among them several policemen. After days of violence, the government in Haryana announced that it would table a bill granting the demands of the Jat community in the state assembly.