Shimla, June 13
Running out of patience over erratic water supply for around one week now, Shimla residents have started questioning the distribution system of Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL).
Waterleakage, unidentified connections
The actual water that reaches consumers is much less than the amount of water pumped every day. There's a leakage of around 15-20 per cent in distribution and there are unidentified connections as well. SJPNL general manager
Despite the shortage of water at the sources of various schemes, the SJPNL is still pumping out around 35 million litre per day. Many people feel it’s enough to give adequate water to the entire city on alternate days, but several areas are getting water on the fourth day. “Even if we assume there are 3.5 lakh people in the city, every individual can be given 100 litre per day with 35 million litre. So how’s SJPNL not able to provide water in every part of the city even on alternate days?” asked former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan.
The SJPNL, however, maintains that the actual water that reaches consumers is much less than the amount of water pumped every day. “There’s a leakage of around 15-20 per cent in distribution and there are unidentified connections as well. So, we can’t make simple calculations,” said SJPNL General Manager RK Verma.
“We need around 47 million litre to provide supply every day but we are down to 34-35 million litre, hence we are trying to supply on alternate days,” said Verma. He further said that demand has gone up considerably because of the huge tourist inflow in the city.
Chauhan, however, claims that when water supply was with MC five years back, they used to give water every day even with 28 million litre. “We used to give supply every day with 28 million litre, and now the company can’t give supply even on alternate days with 35 million litre,” he said.
For many people, inequitable distribution is the main cause of the problem. An MC official, requesting anonymity, said how come only domestic consumers were crying hoarse for water. “Why there is no hue and cry from hoteliers and other commercial establishments even though most hotels were packed to capacity at this time?” he asked, hinting at some nexus.
A government official, who knows the working of the Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited well, said strict monitoring of keymen, who operate the distribution lines, was mandatory. “The supply can’t be left entirely to the discretion of keymen, they need to be monitored. If it’s not done, there will be problems,” he said.
“Besides, 35 million litre is sufficient to provide adequate water to everyone on alternate days,” he said.
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