Several parts of New Delhi, the Indian capital, including many up-market residential areas, are set to face acute water shortage in the coming days with the water authorities deciding to suspend water supply in view of its excess ammonia content.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) announced Tuesday it was closing down two of its water treatment plants as the water that was flowing in from the neighbouring state of Haryana contained an unacceptably high level of ammonia content.
DJB officials report that the problem has been around for the past few days but the ammonia content in the water source has gone up even further and is said to be around 4 PPM (parts per million). This has made the water unfit for drinking.
DJB CEO Arun Mathur said: "Up to a level of 0.3 PPM, we can neutralize the ammonia content using chlorine, but not beyond. In such a situation, we have no option but to shut down the plant, of course, for now."
Technically, officials say, there should be no ammonia content in water at all, and when its presence is detected, it can be treated, but only up to a limit.
Consequently daily water supply will be completely cut off for many posh areas where the elite of the capital live.
The Jal Board has written to the Haryana Pollution Board chairman asking him to check the ammonia content in the water. "The increase in the ammonia level would possibly be because of chemical and municipal waste. In order to flush out the dangerous content of ammonia, we have asked Haryana to release much more water than they usually supply," said Mathur.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also stepped in, directing the Haryana state government to do all it could to reduce the ammonia content in the water flowing into the national capital from there.