Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Acute water crisis in Shimla
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 8
People are making a beeline around tankers to fetch drinking water as the town has plunged into a water crisis with taps going dry in many areas because of the sudden fall in the water level of the two main reservoirs at The Ridge and Sanjauli.

Many sources have scanty water because of a severe drought and farmers of nearby villages resorting to diverting these for irrigating their crops.

The authorities have restricted tap water supply to alternate days as the situation is worsening by the day.

Against the minimum requirement of 10 ft and 13 ft of water in the reservoirs at The Ridge and Sanjauli, respectively, only 4.5 ft and 6.5 ft of water is available because of which many areas have to go without water.

The Commissioner of the Shimla Municipal Corporation, Mr H.N. Kashyap, said the problem had occurred because of frequent electric failure last night. He said he had ordered immediate disconnection of water lines at construction sites and also tanks at commercial and domestic places, which were overflowing.

Enquiries, indicate that the two reservoirs are not getting adequate water. The water level in the reservoirs at The Ridge and Sanjauli was 7 ft and 8 ft, respectively, yesterday and 7.4 ft and 9.5 ft on Sunday.

The water crisis at this time is likely to hit tourism. Against the requirement of 60 lakh gallons of water per day, the old town received a supply of 25.89 lakh gallons today against 29.54 lakh gallons yesterday. The supply on Sunday was 30 lakh gallons.

The worst-affected areas are Bharari, New Shimla, Keleston, Vikas Nagar, Annandale, Kasumpti, Tutu, Boiluganj and the outskirts of the town. Residents of Bharari lamented that they had not received water supply for the past two days.

Mr Kashyap said water was being supplied on alternate days to New Shimla, Chakkar and Ram Nagar.

The Forest Department has deployed its own tankers for supplying drinking water to its residential colonies. Private tankers are filling water from nullahs.

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