Centre Seeks Report On Shimla Water Crisis

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New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday sought a report from the Himachal Pradesh government as the state capital continued to reel under a severe water shortage.

The high court, which yesterday ordered stringent water-saving measures, has now asked the Shimla Municipal Corporation to disconnect water supply to hotels which do not pay their pending water charges within two days.

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Himachal Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry said the report sought by Union Water Resources Secretary has been sent. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also reviewed the water situation today at a high-level meeting, the fifth in the past four days.

Protests over the crisis continued in the city with Congress activists blocking some roads. Local residents have also expressed their anger on social media in the last few days, with some asking tourists to stay away from the hill town.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court yesterday ordered a halt to construction activity and washing cars in the core areas of the city for the next few days.

It also directed that no water tankers will be sent to individuals, even if they are ministers, bureaucrats or judges. Only the governor and the chief minister were exempted from the order.

Shimla authorities today deployed 27 tankers to distribute 2.25 lakh litres of water at 63 points in the city. The total availability of water from all sources in Shimla now is 21.75 million litres per day against a requirement of 32-35 MLD.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mohinder Singh said 14 MLD of water would be lifted from Gumma pumping station instead of 11 MLD at present. Scanty rains and less snowfall this year have led to the water crisis, officials said.

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