By SRUTHI GOTTIPATI July 5, 2012, 1:19 am
This summer, with historic highs in temperature, has been the cruelest in decades here in the capital. But it is the debilitating cuts in water supply that have made the heat particularly unbearable.
Scores of frazzled residents found themselves without water to douse their bodies after a day in the 43-degree Celsius (110 F) heat, to soothe their parched throats with abandon, to pour on their porch to settle the dust or to wash their utensils after a sweaty cooking session in their kitchen. Paired with relentless cuts in electricity, residents can find little relief from the heat.
"It's particularly severe this year because there's a bigger demand and supply gap," said Ravi Agarwal, the director of Toxics Link, an environmental nongovernmental organization that's monitored issues like water shortages in the city.
Water cuts in New Delhi aren't a unique phenomenon - it's been happening every summer for years. But while some neighborhoods have a crippling lack of supply, others seem to sail through.
The Delhi Jal Board, which is tasked with the distribution of water, said it's been increasing the supply of water to meet the growing demand, but it still doesn't supply enough. The water required in the city (based on government calculations of the average person's need) totals 1,100 million gallons per day, while the supply is only 830 million gallons.
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