State capital Shimla is facing acute shortage of drinking water. Water is being supplied to the residents after a gap of five-six days and that too for a very limited period aggravating the problem further. Authorities are blaming deficient rainfall in winters, water leakage for the scarcity of water.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur hold a meeting with senior officers of the State Government to review status of water supply to the Shimla town today and directed to take pragmatic and collective steps to ensure adequate supply of drinking water to people of Shimla town.
The Chief Minister directed the officers of the Irrigation and Public Health Department, District administration and the Municipal Corporation Shimla to take all measures to ensure that there was no inconvenience to the residents and tourists of the Shimla town due to shortage of water during the summer season. He said that water tankers would be pressed into service to supply water in water scarcity areas.
Jai Ram Thakur directed the officers to check water losses due to leakage in the pipes and also plug all water connections used for construction purposes. He also asked the officers to explore the possibilities for installation of new bore well at Gumma.
Chief Minister asked the officers to stop kuhls drawing water upstream of lift water supply scheme Gumma to augment the water availability at the intake of lift water supply scheme Gumma. He said that a new pump was being installed in Nauti khad downstream the intake of Nauti khad pumping station to collect about 1 MLD residual water. He said that water supply to Tutu, Majiath, Chakkar and Gora Chowki would be increased from lift water supply scheme Groh Gandal by adding 4.5 lakh litre from Tawi tank.
The Chief Minister also appealed to the consumers to use water judiciously.
The water requirement in Shimla town goes up manifold during summer because of the tourist rush. Thousands of tourists rush to the hill town to evade the summer of plains, but huge rush of tourists from neighbouring states put extra burden on natural resources of already dried town.
The state capital has restricted source of water and to even meet the demand of residents of the city, authority lift water from half a dozen water sources that reach the citizens through pipelines. However, the hill station’s water sources have abysmally depleted over the years due to scarcity in the annual rainfall and snowfall rate. With the ever increasing population of the city also putting burden on the hills and even polluting existing water sources. One of nearby source Ashwani Khad is notorious for jaundice outbreak almost five times in last eight years and following finding contamination in the water the civic authority had stopped lifting water.
Providing sufficient water to its residents is an impossible task for authority. However, it never deter political parties to make tall but false promises to get votes. The BJP during election for the Shimla Municipal Corporation promise of providing 24 hours water supply, now it is not even been able to maintain the supply once in 24 hours. While the residents of the hill town are left high and dry.
Water crises in Shimla town and its nearby hamlets aren’t new, but still authority hasn’t awaken from its slumber. Water conservation has been restricted to the meeting and files only, no check dams, no major water harvesting project has been started in and around of the Shimla city. Hills of historic Shimla town is a feeder of Satluj and Yamuna River, but still authority has failed to even take basic water conservation step to give relief to its residents.
In every summer the Civic Authority Shimla announce to revive stepwells and ponds as traditional water resources to cater to water needs of the residents in the area. However on the ground these plans and projects lost with the first water of monsoon.