Shimla Water Crisis: Water Distributed Under Police Protection

Published on 31 May 2018 by Shivi

The Municipal Corporation in Shimla is distributing water under police protection due to the acute drinking water storage. To deal with the situation in the water-deprived hill-station, over 70 personnel have been deployed.

According to reports, the demand for bottled water has increased by 50- 60% due to water scarcity in Shimla. In Himachal Pradesh, the tourism industry is also massively hit as tourists are cancelling their visits to the hill-station.

On Wednesday, Himachal Pradesh High Court directed the Shimla Municipal Corporation not to distribute water through tankers due to which the local hoteliers and others related to the tourism industry are worried.

It has been directed by the state government and the Shimla Municipal Corporation to not allow any water supply for building construction and car washing.

Due to extreme water scarcity in the town, the court has taken a suo motu cognizance in this matter and has given order taking the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which is pending with the high court for past two years.

The International Shimla Summer Festival, a major tourist attraction has been postponed by the Shimla administration, scheduled from June 1 to 5 due to the scarcity of water in the town.

This comes after Centre sought a report from Himachal Pradesh government. On Tuesday the high court, who ordered stringent water-saving measures, has now asked Shimla Municipal Corporation to disconnect water supply to hotels which do not pay their pending water charges within two days.

According to Himachal Chief Secretary Vineet Chowdhury, the report sought by Union Water Resources Secretary has been sent. The water situation was also reviewed by the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Due to crisis Protests over the city was carried out with Congress activists blocking some roads. Local residents also expressed their anger on social media in the last few days, including some asking tourists to stay away from the hill town.

On Tuesday The Himachal Pradesh High Court ordered a halt to construction activity and washing cars in the core areas of the city for the next few days directing that no water tankers will be sent to individuals, even if they are ministers, bureaucrats or judges. The order exempted only the governor and the chief minister. Social media is also flooded with news about the water crisis, preventing the inflow of tourists into the state.

27 tankers to distribute 2.25 lakh litres of water at 63 points in the city were also deployed by the Shimla authorities whereas the total availability of water from all sources in Shimla now is 21.75 million litres per day against a requirement of 32-35 MLD.

At present, as per the Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mohinder Singh, 14 MLD of water would be lifted from Gumma pumping station instead of 11 MLD. According to the reports, scanty rains and less snowfall this year have led to the water crisis.

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