Muck dumping poses threat to Shimla Giri water scheme

Makes water source unsustainable, affects quality

Muck dumping poses threat to Shimla Giri water scheme

Muck being dumped into Giri river. Tribune photo

Subhash Rajta

Shimla, September 26

Muck dumping into the Giri river has become a cause for concern for Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL).

The water procurement and distribution company for Shimla has been struggling to handle the increasing silt in the river over the past year and fears that the sludge will reduce the life and sustainability of the scheme.

Rise in dumping

There has been a massive increase in the dumping of muck into the river during the pandemic. Muck from several development projects such as the upcoming CA store at Parala fruit mandi and roads is being dumped into the river. SJPNL official

Water company Struggling to handle increasing silt

  • Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited has been struggling to handle the increasing silt in the river over the past year
  • It fears that the sludge will reduce the life and sustainability of the scheme
  • As a result of this illegal dumping, the Giri water scheme source witnesses high turbidity (in pic) every time it rains heavily
  • Muck dumping is also affecting the quality of water, posing a threat to public health

“There has been a massive increase in the dumping of muck in the river during the pandemic,” said an SJPNL official, adding: “Muck from several development projects, such as the upcoming CA store at Parala fruit mandi, is being dumped into the river.”

As a result of this illegal dumping, the Giri water scheme source witnesses high turbidity, sometimes as high as 6,000 nephelometric turbidity unit, every time it rains heavily. With such high turbidity, pumping drops down to 3-4 MLD from the normal 17-20 MLD, causing a severe shortage of water in the city.

“It is one of the two key water schemes for the city. If the pumping drops down to such an extent, the shortage of water is unavoidable,” the official said.

Apart from threatening to make the water source unsustainable, muck dumping is also affecting the quality of water, osing a threat to public health. “More silt and sludge means that we have to use more doses of chemicals to treat the water. More use of chemical is certainly not good for health, but the huge quantity of silt leaves us with no other option,” the official said.

Besides, the additional treatment of water means extra expenditure. “We are installing tube settlers to ensure silt settles down as quickly as possible. The silt management has become an added feature of the scheme and entails an extra expenditure,” the official said.

The SJPNL has written to the Shimla Deputy Commissioner and Theog SDM to check the blatant dumping into the river.

“All stakeholders, the Forest Department, PWD, Electricity Department and district administration, need to come together and make a water safety plan to save the scheme,” the SJPNL official added.

Tribune Shorts


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