Himachal Pradesh stares at ‘famine-like situation’

Minister: Mere 3-4 ft of snow at Rohtang this time

Shimla, March 16

Growing concern over Himachal facing an acute water scarcity once again echoed in the Vidhan Sabha with Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Minister Mahender Singh warning the situation could be “alarming” in the summer due to scant rain and snow. The minister was replying to a cut motion.

In 2018, the capital faced a major water crisis and was labelled India’s Cape Town. The situation was so grave that some localities did not receive supply for 10 days and severe water rationing was imposed.

He warned the House against threat of a major “famine-like situation” in the summer. “The situation is going to be alarming, as against 30-40 feet of snow at Rohtang Pass, there is barely 3 to 4 feet of snow this time,” he said. In fact, the water level of the Beas had started declining and in the summer, it could go dry due to very little rainfall and snow in the winter, he added. The minister said the department was working towards tackling the situation. “It is a natural phenomenon for which nobody can be blamed but we need to work jointly to tide over the problem,” he remarked. — TNS

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