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Social unrest in Delhi leaves water taps dry

Residents crowded around a municipality tanker delivering drinking water at a slum in New Delhi this week. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

India’s capital faces a severe water shortage — but not due to lack of precipitation. Andrew Marszal reports for The Telegraph that thousands of members of the Jat caste closed a major canal that serves the city. The action is part of a wider protest that has cancelled train service and left roads gridlocked.

The Jats have long demanded recognition as a “marginalized” group that qualifies for government set-asides of jobs and educational opportunities, the article says. “Youth unemployment is rising as the community’s population grows rapidly,” Marszal notes.

The civil disobedience has cut water supplies to Delhi by up to 70 percent, prompting water rationing in the capital and nearby communities. Seven water treatment stations were forced to close along with schools. There have been two deaths and dozens of injuries. A pledge by government officials to help the community prompted Jat leaders to call for the protests to end.

While authorities say water service has been “partially restored,” they also have warned it could take two weeks to fully restore service.

The Telegraph

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