At The Peak Of Tourist Season, Himachal Pradesh Faces A Water Crisis; Shimla Runs Out Of Water

At The Peak Of Tourist Season, Himachal Pradesh Faces A Water Crisis; Shimla Runs Out Of WaterPeople queue up for water in front tankers in Shimla. (pic via Twitter)

Shimla's water crisis entered its eighth day today (30 May). At the peak of the tourist season, the ‘queen of hills’ has run dry. For over a week now, there has been an acute shortage of drinking water in the city and residents have to depend on water tankers, which entails walking long distances and waiting in queues for hours. Shimla's daily requirement is around 42 MLD (million litres/day) water but supply has fallen to 22 MLD.

Fed up with the situation, locals took to protesting and raised slogans outside Chief Minister's residence late last night. Locals allege that whatever little water is available, is being diverted to VIP areas and tourist hotels. Protestors blocked the Shimla-Kalka road and skirmishes with the police were also reported.

Amid the crisis, Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday took sou motu notice of the crisis and questioned the Municipal Commissioner on what immediate steps were being taken to provide relief o the residents. The Bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel also raised another important issue of whether any new construction should be allowed within the municipal limits.

Shimla's Municipal Corporation meanwhile is trying to avert the crisis. Fourteen water tankers and eight pick-up vehicles have been pressed into service. In addition, the city has been divided into 3 zones and promised equitable distribution. The corporation also said that one tanker each would be made available for every ward.