Tourist-packed Shimla weighed down by water crisis : The Tribune India

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Tourist-packed Shimla weighed down by water crisis

SJPNL said water would be supplied to residents after a gap of two days for the time being

Tourist-packed Shimla weighed down by water crisis

The authorities have announced that water will be supplied to residents once in two days.



Tribune News Service

Subhash Rajta

Shimla, June 16

Even as thousands of tourists have been visiting Shimla daily, the water crisis in the city is getting bad to worse with Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) today announcing rationing in all areas. It said water would be supplied to residents after a gap of two days for the time being.

However, residents of some localities of the city, mainly the ones on the periphery, claimed they had already been getting supply after three or four days. “We last received the supply on June 13. Three days have passed, but we haven’t got a drop of water,” said Anjali, a resident of the Lower Khalini area. Similar complaints have poured in from parts of Totu, Sanjauli and Jakhu. “In Totu, we get water after four or five days. It is extremely difficult to perform household chores without water for such a long time,” said Vijender Mehra, a local resident.

The SJPNL, the company which procures and distributes water within the municipal limits of the city, blamed the shortage on the prolonged dry spell that led to a reduction in the water level at all sources of supply schemes.

According to an SJPNL spokesperson, the city was receiving only 33-36 million litres water per day against the requirement of 48 million litres per day, leading to water rationing and supply constraints. “The water level at the sources, especially in the Giri river, has gone down drastically. The situation is even worse than in 2018 when Shimla faced its worst water crisis. We, however, hope the situation will not go out of hand,” the spokesperson said.

“The schedule to provide supply after a gap of two days has been chalked out to ensure equitable distribution of water, especially to the peripheral areas which face the maximum problems,” he said.

The arrival of a large number of tourists has also aggravated the water woes for the locals. At the moment, most of the hotels are packed to capacity, leading to a massive rise in the demand for water. The worrying part is that the water crisis could spiral out of hands if it doesn’t rain in another few days. “We will return to the regular distribution schedule if there’s some rain. But if the dry spell continues, we will have to continue making adjustments,” he said.

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