People living in high-rises and gated residential societies in Gurgaon have been struggling to get something as basic as piped water supply for even an hour for the last few months. Piped water supply has been reducing every day and residents claim buying water from the tankers is expensive.
On Sunday, residents of DLF Phase 2 came out in protest against the water crisis.
"Piped water supply comes barely for 20-30 minutes. Calling the tanker once costs Rs 800-2,500. This summer has been the worst ever," said Sapna Sehrawat, a Gurgaon resident.
Another resident, Sanath Suri, said, "The weekly expenses on tankers can go as high as Rs 7,000. In homes where there is only water connection to those living on the ground floor, those on the upper floors don't get enough water. The authorities also cut off electricity frequently and because of that we can't even switch on the motors to fill water," said Sapna Sehrawat, another resident.
Residents in areas like DLF Phase 1-3 and Sectors 27 and 43 have been affected and forced to spend as much as Rs 33,000 a month on water tankers.
Vandana Oberoi, a resident of DLF Phase 3, said, "Sharp at 7:05 in the morning we switch on our motors and at 7:10 or max 7:15 the water goes. Exactly the same situation is in the evening. There we switch it at 4:05 or 4:10 pm and within 5 minutes it's gone."
The water that does come is muddy and adds to people's woes. Niti Gupta, a resident, said, "You can have one look at our underground storage tank and see the amount of mud that has collected at the bottom. The level of dirt is very worrying. It can lead to diseases."
In areas like DLF Phase 1, recently a broken pipeline led to five days without a drop of water.
Rahul Chandola, general secretary of the residents' welfare association of DLF Phase 1, said,
"A pipeline broke near Guru Dronacharya Metro station. It took three days to repair that pipe and we didn't have water for five days. People had to go to their relatives' homes to take a bath and for daily needs. Some went to clubs and took baths while others hired tankers."
Those who have lived here for years blame the crisis on the demand and supply gap. Sanjay Jain, who has lived in Gurgaon for the last 30 years, said, "In 2017, the Haryana government changed the master plan of this area and allowed increased FAR (floor area ratio). On a 400 yard plot which was meant for one or maximum two families, they allowed four more storeys. Where is the extra water for this increased population?"
According to a survey by the Gurugram Metropolitan Authority, two lakh more people have settled in different societies in the area just over the last three years. The demand and supply gap is 21 million gallons per day.
The authorities admit the problems but claim they are rectifying the situation. Lalit Arora, chief engineer, Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) said, "There is exponential growth in Gurgaon town and we are supplying water at the rate of 450 million gallons per day. There is a demand and supply gap. We are likely to reassess the demand and by next year we will sort it out. We have already engaged IIT Roorkee for making a master plan as per the present requirement."