Beginning of an end

With the dust of time covering relics of a bygone era, the future is not so bright for things of the past in Shimla, says Saurabh Malik

Shimla’s glorious past is history. For, so many relics of the bygone era, crowning the erstwhile summer capital of the Raj, have disappeared. Or else, are uncared for.

The few remaining imperial hydrants do not work.
The few remaining imperial hydrants do not work.

If you still haven’t perceived the past being relegated to history books and conversations, get down at the cart (car, if you please) road for gasping your way up the steep and long inclines meandering through the town’s magnificent history.

Walking past the vendor stalls of fresh veggies, street food, plastic toys and not-so-expensive clothes, you are tempted to think the strong winds of change haven’t swept the Lower Mall. But reach the Mall, running along the crest of the ridge, and you find the vigour missing in the blast from the past!

The imperial hydrants, once used to fight fire and wash clean the Mall, are either missing or have been rendered useless. Even stately emblems, one time adorning the majestic banisters along the buildings now housing the employment exchange and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police’s office, have disappeared.

This is just the beginning of the end. Although an attempt is being made to preserve the legacy showcased in the Gaiety Theatre and other buildings by declaring them heritage structures, the neglected lampposts, dotting the Mall, throw light on the still sad state of affairs.

Trek forward against the backdrop of the wooded ravines, flowers and pines; and you will hardly come across any majestic letter boxes in cylindrical and pillar shapes, cast out of wrought iron, with crowns adorning their top.

In Shimla after almost three decades, a widely-traveled NRI couple from Canada still recall the time when they were astonished to find, upon reaching the Mall, an English country town.

“The Brits were apparently serious about replicating England right here in the foothills of the Himalayas,” says Veenu Kapoor, working as an executive with a multi-national firm. “Everywhere you looked, you could see pretty gabled cottages, half-timbered buildings, shops and government offices built in the typical Tudor style — all wooden frames and shingled eaves.”

Reposing against a railing on the Ridge, she nods her head glumly before saying: “But now, the distance between the old and the new Shimla has lessened. One look at some of the buildings, including the structure housing the employment exchange, is enough to tell you how things are. The authorities claim some of the properties were under litigation. Fine, but what was stopping the government from maintaining them?”

Clicking photographs of the under-renovation Gaiety Theatre, Kapoor adds: “Besides this, several of the letter boxes have simply vanished and the hydrants look as if they won’t work. Once the hydrants festooned with lion heads were used to keep the Mall clean and cool. No wonder, the main promenade, running along the top of the Ridge, was often called Thandi Sadak.”

Sitting in his shoe-repair shop near the BSNL building, Kaka Ram cannot help but agree. Settled in Shimla after leaving behind his hometown Kangra way back in 1960, he says: After India got Independence from the British; most things associated with the Raj were done away with. But some of the pretty little hydrants, with nostalgic aura about them, managed to survive the onslaught of time, but not public apathy.”

Some were simply allowed to perish while the work of road-widening was going on. Few others in the lower bazaar area were pulled out and sold by the people, says Kaka Ram.

A senior government officer based at Shimla says: “The authorities are serious about preserving the state’s rich cultural and imperial heritage. As a part of the exercise, several buildings set up in the days of the Raj have already been declared heritage sites and efforts are on to restore their original glory. Public enthusiasm is what we need right now”.

He concludes: There is tremendous pressure on land and its resources due to the burgeoning population. We are now looking for solutions not just to check the growth of slum-like areas that have cropped up in and around the town, but are also faced with the task of preserving the past. And we need all support we can get from the people”.

All this only makes you wish the government hurries, lest the remnants of the past surface only in tourist sites!

Vertical limit

The summer capital of British India sprawls along a crescent-shaped ridge at an altitude of over 2100m or 6890 feet in the southern Himachal Pradesh. As the Brits came to escape the torrid heat of the plains in the pre-Independence era, balls, bridge parties and parades went hand in hand with gossip, intrigue and romance. The officers and the administrators of the Raj have been replaced by holidaymakers, but echoes of Shimla’s British past still remain, though not so strong at places.

Divine connection

Shimla, also spelt as Simla, derives its name from goddess Shayamla Devi, a manifestation of Goddess Kali. It became the capital after the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1864 Shimla was declared summer capital of India. In 1903, a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh.. The town now straddles several hills, including Jakhu Hill, Prospect Hill, Observatory Hill, Elysium Hill and Summer Hill.

Victorian pillars once lit up the Mall.

Colonial past

Just in case you wish to something about reminders of Shimla’s colonial, read this: The Christ Church, on the eastern edge of the Ridge, has Victorian-Gothic spires and stained glass windows. The other distinctively colonial structures are: the Town Hall, the timber-lined General Post Office, the Gaiety Theatre and the Cecil Hotel. And then you have the Viceregal Lodge.



The Mysterious Magician
A.M. Jacob’s cradle-days were as mysterious as his whole life
by Shriniwas Joshi


My father was a great magician and his astounding trick was to halve the people. That is how I have two 
half-brothers and three half-sisters.

Abdul Hafiz bin Isak arrived in Shimla in 1871. Nobody knows him by that name. Try referring to Alexander M. Jacob or simply A.M. Jacob and people recall reading about him in one of the books on Shimla.

Edward Buck calls him ‘a character in the station… the famous art dealer and jeweller.’ Jacob claimed to have been born as Turk at Constantinople about 1849; Pamela Kanwar calls him a Polish or Armenian Jew; Raaja Bhasin says he was born of Catholic parents at Izmir (Smyrna). His cradle-days were equally mysterious as was his whole life.

It is, however, true that he was sold as slave at the age of ten to a rich pasha who gave him knowledge of eastern life, language, art, literature, philosophy and occultism. He grew up to be a fluent speaker of English, Urdu, Turkish, Persian, Arabic and French.

Brigadier Alec Mason, while writing on Jacob in 1961, discloses that he went to Mecca at the age of twenty-one. He reached Bombay from there in 1870 without ‘either a hat or boots and with only six annas in pocket’. Penniless he then footed the way to Hyderabad where he served the first noble of the state Ami-ul-Kabir for one-and-a-half year and then went to Calcutta to join Messers. Charles Nephew and Co. He left that job and came to Shimla in 1877 after having served the Nabobs of Rampur and Dholpur.

This way he defies the year of his arrival in Shimla — 1871 — referred to by all historians. I go with the historians. It is coincidence that both the buildings where he lived in Shimla are presently functioning-schools. He lived at ‘Belvedere’ where there is junior section of Auckland House and ‘Winscottie’ where runs DAV School, Lakkar Bazaar.

Alice Elizabeth Dracott the writer of Folktales of Simla was Jacob’s contemporary. Raaja Bhasin writes in Simla that Jacob told her three invaluable secrets — maintaining perpetual youth and how to look seventeen at fifty, turning oneself invisible as he used to disappear at the table and people could see only the knife and fork working on the dishes and finally to control the sex of the child. Bhasin gives an interesting account of how Jacob, within ten minutes, converted a stick of a General into a Homburg grape-laden vine. The guests relished the fruits and the General found himself in his bedroom when he wished it – flying a mile in two seconds.

Such was the mysterious magnetism of Jacob that Issac of Marion Crawford’s novel Mr Issac, Colonel Newnham Davis’s Emanuel of Jadoo and Kipling’s Lurgan Sahib of Kim reflect his persona. Buck says that he had a quaint little shop on the Mall. M.M. Kaye supports it. Nobody could say where it actually existed.

Peter Hopkirk writing Quest for Kim had come to Shimla in the nineties to follow Kipling’s trail but could not find the shop. He mentions that Imre Schwaiger, a Hungarian dealer in oriental treasures, had succeeded Jacob and his shop was opposite jewellers Hamilton and Co. functioning probably from there where the Bhagra Niwas shops exist today.

The guess is that Jacob’s shop was where Batish stands at present. Apprehending magic-trick of Jacob from his grave in Mumbai, Hopkirk writes that his visit to ‘India Office Library and Records’ in London to find Jacob’s will ended in evacuation of the building as alarm bells started ringing and on his next attempt he lost all his notes and

Jacob’s end also started from Shimla as from here he finalised with the Nizam of Hyderabad to buy for him a famous diamond kept in England, then called the Imperial and later the Jacob, for three hundred thousand pounds, half of which the Nizam paid in advance.

Jacob delivered the diamond in person to Nizam who refused to pay the dues. Jacob moved a Calcutta court. He won the case but huge legal expenses broke him and he died in penury in 1921 in Bombay.



Apples at receiving end, again
Fluctuating weather dashes hopes of bumper harvest this year
Kulwinder Sandhu

The soaring mercury and last fortnight’s hailstorms in the upper hills of the state have ruined hopes of a bumper apple harvest this year.

According to an estimate, the temperature variation has ruined apples worth Rs 10 crore in Shimla, Kinnaur and Kulu districts besides damaging apple trees. Cultivators fear that then situation could worsen if weather fluctuations continue. Jubbal, Rohru, Jashala valley, Kotkhai, Theog, Sarahan, Sangla and few villages around Reckong Peo were worst-affected. Farmers of Sangla valley and Rohru have demanded compensation from the state government. “Apples are our only source of income. The state government has to help us out,” said Subash Negi, a farmer of Sangla valley.

Last year, apple crop worth Rs 300 crore was damaged due to weather conditions. Annual apple production has declined by half – from an average five lakh tonne to 2.6 lakh tonne — in the last few years. An official said that the Kinnaur administration was assessing the situation and would help affected apple growers.

Farmers had earlier faced the brunt of late snowfall. The entire state, including Kinnaur district, did not witness snowfall in the months of January and February. Kinnaur witnessed the first snowfall on December 9 last year and after that in the third week of March. The gap of three months between successive snowfalls had also adversely affected the apple crop.



shimla diary
Self-confidence key to empowerment
Rakesh Lohumi

Himachal may have been one of the leading states in female literacy but it is lagging as far empowerment of women is concerned. They continue to play a secondary role mainly because of lack of self-confidence and motivation. This was the crux of the four-day workshop on women empowerment organised held at St.Bede’s College. The workshop was a part of the springboard women’s development programme and was sponsored by British Council. The former vice chancellor of the Indira Kala Sangeet Academy, Chhattisgarh, inaugurated the workshop and asserted, “The objective of empowerment could be achieved only by providing proper education to women and it should aim at building positive attitude and overall personality development.”

With proper education one could gain knowledge, strength, self –confidence, courage and compassion. These virtues must be taught to women so that they could be passed on to future generations. Lead Manager of the programme, Usha Pathania, said,” It is a unique programme and so far 800 licensed trainers in 21 countries, including India, have been trained under it.” The objective was to bring out the hidden talent of women and enable them to realise their full potential.

The programme is all about understanding one’s own self, networking and learning through positive role models. The approach is holistic with emphasis on self-paced learning that assists in confidence building, conflict resolution, assertiveness and goal setting.

Heartfelt success

Open-heart surgery has come of age at the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital with the team of doctors, headed by R.S.Pathania performing the 100th operation early this week. It was an important milestone for the institution as the advanced cardiac surgery was started only in December 2005. To instill confidence among the patients, initially the operations were performed under the supervision of Dr Venugopal from the AIIMS

The effort has been worthwhile as the success rate has been 96 per cent, which is the same as for other established cardiac centers. While, all type of procedures like coronary bypass and valve replacement have been performed on adults; the doctors have been selective in case of children. Only those above ten years are being operated for plugging the hole in the heart, which is the most common problem among children.

The most important feature is that 70 per cent of those operated were from poor families who could not afford to go outside the state for surgery. They have all been treated under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The cost for a coronary bypass ranges between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000 and that of valve replacement around Rs 1.25 lakh, which is one-third of the cost elsewhere.

Lonely fraternity joins hand

Hopes were raised for the ‘lonely’ in queen of hills with ‘Sharan’, a Chandigarh-based organisation opening its first branch in the state. The initiative for setting up a branch was taken by founder member of the club Chand Kapoor who convened a meeting of the lonely fraternity.

In all ten members were inducted in the group. Chand Kapoor said that she had explained the concept of the club to the newly inducted members and they will contact like-minded persons to expand the membership. She informed that she had even received calls from Solan and Dharmapur for opening branch of the club.

Local advocate Chandrasekhar will coordinate the activities of the club. Those interested in joining the club can contact him on 9418168379.



Seat of learning Divine venture
Pursue academic and spiritual learning in the town of Baru Sahib
Vidya Rattan Sharma

The Kalgidhar Trust will be laying the foundation stone of a privately funded Sikh Akal University during October-November this year. The envisaged university would be located at Baru Sahib. For research and development, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Wayne Sate University, USA.

The network of academies of the trust are situated at Gomti Pilibhit, Kagri Niranjanpur, Reeth Kheri Mander, Kauriwara, Bilga, Muktsar, Jand Sahib, Balbera, BhaiDesa, Fatehgarh Channa, Dhindsa, Bhadaur and Cheema Sahib. All educational centers are equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and modern infrastructure.

The trust seeks to provide opportunities to the modern youth to have a direct experience of divine teachings of Sikh philosophy. About the distinction of Akal academies, S.S. Parmar, chief secretary, Himachal Pradesh said, “You don’t need to go to Gujarat or Rajasthan to see miracles; visitors should imbibe a lesson from persons working at Baru Sahib.”

The trust will be introducing engineering and technological facilities from August 2007. The mission of the trust remains a selfless pursuit in the service of mankind. Besides Akal Charitable Hospital at Baru Sahib; they also seek to accomplish colleges of nursing, medicines, naturopathy, commerce, management, music and spirituality.

They have also been serving as a non-profit charitable organisation for uplifting the under privileged rural folk. Besides that more than 200 girls are being provided spiritual and vocational training in music to enable them self-sufficiency. An Akal Child Welfare Foundation, an orphanage unit looks after more than 800 children. Some of the other institutes include a home for widows and destitute women, de-addiction centres and a rural development programme to facilitate agriculture and marketing.



Rush Hour
Ambika Sharma

It is the combination of poor traffic management, encroachments and lack of road discipline, which has earned Solan’s Mall Road the sobriquet — ‘a driver’s dilemma’. Though the district administration has made several attempts to enforce traffic sense but has not succeeded in instilling the desired discipline.

A number of educational institutes, a cinema hall, and the Central State Library and a number of banks are adding to the rush on the road. It is a common sight to spot students crossing the busy road amidst speeding vehicles.

Adding to the problem are the shopkeepers who display their articles outside their shops. This has led to the encroachment of a pedestrian path constructed some years back by a former deputy commissioner. And with most of the popular fast food joints being located on this road, this area has become a hub for college-going youngsters.

This poses problems for the pedestrians. The district administration has decided now to close the Mall road for two hours daily in the evenings. An earlier attempt to enforce this norm had met with stiff opposition from the Beopar Mandal who felt it would adversely affect their business. Succumbing to the pressure it was discontinued for sometime but later re-enforced. Though the Beopar Mandal has promised to check the encroachment but it has failed to bring about any such change.

In yet another move, the district police has decided to put dividers on this road to force non-parking of vehicles. But the ill-conceived move only led to making the situation worse. Since the road breadth is uneven lacking adequate width at many places it posed further problems for the motorists. Residents have pleaded to the administration to declare this road a ‘no traffic zone’.

Dinesh Sharma, a social worker, who has been residing in the town since the past 10 years feels, “It is basically the business community which has it’s stakes on the road while for a common man the permanent closing of the road would benefit. Since the people have to take outstation buses from the bus stop itself, it hardly serves any purpose except for benefiting the businessmen here. Deputy commissioner Rajesh Kumar who has made several attempts to make amends in the system says, “We are in the process of installing traffic lights which would help to streamline the traffic. It’s in the final stage and once installed it is expected to bring the traffic problem to an end.”

He candidly admits that though the Beopar Mandal had promised to check all kind of encroachments, it has not been done so far.



Places of a lesser god
Kuldeep Chauhan

Lack of initiative from the government and local people have kept many pilgrimage spots outside the tourism map

Thousands of pilgrims are making a beeline for the hilltops to take a holy dip in the sacred water of the lakes during the Basova or Saja, Navratras or other occasions. They believe the holy dip in the legendary lakes wipe out the evils, heralding in a new season of good harvest, good fodder for cattle, rains and prosperity.

Though most of these spots are connected with roads or treks, they are yet to be tapped for eco-tourism or pilgrims from outside the state.

Most prominent among the pilgrims spots include Parashar, Riwalsar, Kamru Nag, Ladbharol Kamru Nag lake, dedicated to rain god Kamru, Buda Kedarnath in Jhenjheli and Kandaptan, Machhial in Mandi, Markanda Rishi site in Jhukhala, Bilaspur, Bachrotu in Hamirpur, Manikaran, Vashisht, Kalath, Beas Kund in Kulu, Giri Ganga, Churhdhar, Chandra Nahan in Shimla district and Mani Mahesh in Bharmour in Chamba.

Featuring a rocket-shaped temple, placid Parashar Lake, dedicated to sage Parashar, floats an island and is located about 45 km from Mandi.

Road link has enabled the spot to make Parashar accessible for tourists, far away from the hustle and bustle of Kulu-Manali. With its lush green cover and meadows, Churhdhar at 12,000 ft height, dedicated to lord Shiva, is about three hours long trek from Sarahan in Chopal.

Giri Ganga, located about 80 km from Shimla, lies in the scenic valley of Kadapathar at 2700 mt. Chandra Nahan lake in heights of the Chanshal range in Rohru is known for its moony waters.

Childless couples here to pray for children. Others feed atta to fish in Riwalsar, Ladbhoral and Kamru lakes, believing that the devtas bless them which will ensure a good life and a good harvest. But both tourism potential and ‘conservation aspects’ of sacred high points are yet to be channalised by the government. Even the travel agents have yet to present these places for tourists.

The sacred baths at Manikaran and Vashisht are popular among tourists who come to visit Manali. But other places are relatively unknown to the tourists, thanks to poor marketing and lack of local initiative.

Experts say the government has been spending crores of rupees on seeking people’s participate in its programmes through the local area development, but this aspect of conservation has yet to be tapped. Tourism officials claimed that the department has been promoting these sacred sites into the religious tourism sites in each tourist circuit, but the devotees plead that these sacred sites need more attention.

Though some dismisses such annual holy dips in bathing sites as ‘un-scientific’, but conservationists plead that the sacred sites on the hill tops in state have been responsible for their protection and conservation of water sources that feed the village communities down the centuries in the hills.



While residents of Kumarhatti are up in arms to save pine trees from being axed, some others in Shimla are deliberately choking the majestic deodars to build spacious homes, hotels and offices

Green Brigade
Jagmeet Y. Ghuman

A road being laid on forest land.
ROAD TO DESTRUCTION: A road being laid on forest land. —  Tribune Photo

The timely action of villagers has saved over 60 pine tress from facing the axe during the illegal construction of a road in the reserved forest area in Banasar panchayat under the Dharampur block.

Putting brave efforts, the villagers of Banasar got united to thwart the efforts of an hotelier to spoil the flora and fauna of area. And it has borne fruit finally when forest department officials swung into action and put up a wall on the road under construction.

The trouble started some time back when around 100-bigha of private land was bought at Sewad Mour village to set up a hotel. The land is near the famous Banasar Fort on a hill top behind the Timber Trail Height Resort. In order to link the land with Parwanoo-Bhojnagar road, a road was planned. As forest reserved land was involved in it, the department was initially approached for its approval.

As the forest department is currently renovating the historical Banasar Fort. The land-owner sought permission on the pretext to assist the department in transporting raw materials to the fort. However, the proposal was turned down by the department.

Even after the refusal, construction work was started. The villagers after noticing the work informed the police and forest department. A written complaint of villagers was also filed with the police. Acting promptly, the police and forest teams reached the spot and stopped the work.  However, by the time the work was stopped, about 40 feet of the road was already constructed.

It was Gopal Dutt who first spotted the work and alerted others. Though the work was suspended, Dutt had to face wrath from those engaged in the road work. In a move to teach him a lesson, a fencing was put up allegedly on Gopal’s land. When Gopal and his family had opposed, a revenue official who was in connivance with hotelier, tried to put pressure on Gopal. To create panic, a fake complaint was also filed against Gopal and his family.

Kamlesh, Pradhan of Pratha panchayat, Shakth Sharma, Up Pradhan of Banasar panchayat and Upender Sharma the former Banasar Pradhan, along with Gopal and his family met the DSP and sought his intervention. The fencing work was stopped after the DSP asked for proper earmarking of land before to do fencing.

After keeping quite for few days, the work on road was started again. A visit to the spot showed that around 60-meter road was further constructed on the reserved forest land. Around 8 full-grown pine trees have faced the axe to make way for the road. The villagers’ hullabaloo over the matter again has finally forced the forest department to take some effective measures.

Meanwhile, the villagers of Banasar area are questioning the forest department’s role in the whole episode. How the road could be constructed on forest reserved land without getting permission from forest department, questioned the villagers.



D(r)ying young
Pratibha Chauhan

Construction around deodars is spelling doom for the tree.
CONSPIRACY THEORY: Construction around deodars is spelling doom for the tree.

Amidst the tall claims of the government about saving the depleting green cover of the ‘queen of hills’; hundreds of trees are suffocating to death. In the absence of strict penalty for deliberate drying of trees or a construction coming up close to a tree; hundreds of majestic deodar trees are dying a slow death.

The government’s proposal to make it mandatory for any construction company to maintain a distance of at least five metres from a tree on the plot has yet not seen the light of the day. As the proposal gathers dust in government files, great damage is being done to trees; as presently a distance of merely two metres has been maintained from a tree.

Even though forestry experts and government officials admit that a building coming up very close to a tree will ensure its death in due course of time, there seems to be no urgency on the part of the authorities to impose restriction. Despite the forest and municipal officials maintaining that they are very strict as far as the issue of deliberate drying of trees is concerned, there are several instances where trees have been trapped by concrete walls from three sides. In some cases, one can even see the tree top emerging from within the roof. Not to mention the fact that the branches are brutally lopped to ensure that the tree does not survive long.

A study undertaken by the Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI) had indicated that haphazard construction activity and rapid urbanisation was leading to drying up of century old deodar trees. It had pointed out that due to unregulated construction activity the trees were not getting enough space to spread their roots and branches. Moreover, dumping of garbage and other infections was too responsible for drying up of trees in some areas.

Though the government imposed a complete ban in 2000 on construction in the 17 green belts; still great damage is being done to tress in other areas. Efforts are also on to launch certain urban forestry projects in and around the town to increase the green cover.



Trouble for the big cat

The leopard is on the verge of extinction due to negligence of the authorities and poachers’ greed. Ambika Sharma reports from Solan

With an alarming increase in the number of cases of leopard poaching in the region, questions have been raised over the working of the forest department. While, as many as five such cases have come to fore in past seven months; the recent seizure of two leopard hides has further indicated the rate at which the leopards are facing threat. 

The Solan police seized two leopard hides from the possession of two youth during a decoy operation conducted near village Oachghat The two youth, Anil Pundir hailing from village Ber Jameli and Kehar Singh from Kothon were trying to sell the hides when they were caught by the police.

It is a cause of concern that the forest department has failed to do much about the leopards that fall in the critically endangered species of wild life. 29 leopards were spotted in the Rajgarh forest division as per a 2004 census, but no fresh survey has been done to ascertain the decline in the population.

Due to an inadequate natural habitat, the leopards often stray into nearby fields to hunt for animals. It is a peculiar habit of leopards to kill an animal and leave it in isolation for some time and then return to it later to devour its prey.

The forest officials informed about the presence of an evil activity; wherein some wicked elements keep watch when a leopard kills an animal and then spray poisonous substance over the dead animal, so that the leopard dies after consuming it. It’s hide and other body parts like claws and teeth are then removed and traded for huge amounts.

The principal chief conservator of forests Dr Pankaj Khullar while terming it as an alarming problem said,” The field officials would be held accountable for these cases and each DFO who was a wild life warden in his area was responsible for such cases in their respective areas.” He agreed upon the laxity on part of the forest officials.

The Habban area of Rajgarh was declared sensitive some time back and a report was also prepared after a thorough study. It dwelt upon the need for stricter vigilance and frequent raiding in the area. Swaran Singh, DFO, Rajgarh, admitted that it was due to paucity of funds that their intelligence has not geared up. He added, that they had begun night raids to catch the traders.



Solan’s water woes to end in Oct
Jagmeet Y. Ghuman

Work on the Giri water-lifting scheme is on at a war footing. The Rs 51.46-cr scheme will meet the water requirement of Solan town and 114 villages under the Dharampur and Kumarhatti areas. The scheme, planned in 2003, is expected to 
start functioning by October 2.

Under the scheme, water will be lifted from Giri River near Gaura village. As per the IPH department, the current population of 114 villages is estimated at around 20,207. The floating population of these villages is 14,146. The daily water requirement per person is estimated at 120 litre and 70 liter in urban and rural areas, respectively. As per estimates, by 2036, 28.35 lakh litre water would be required daily to meet the requirement of 114 villages. Of this, 6.27 lakh litre water will be lifted from current water sources and the remaining 22.08 lakh litre from Giri river. This scheme is capable of supplying water for 30 years.



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