In a respite, Shimla gets more water but rationing continues

RSTV Bureau
 People wait to collect drinking water from a natural water source, as the city faces acute shortage of drinking water during hot weather, in Shimla. (Photo: PTI)

People wait to collect drinking water from a natural water source, as the city faces acute shortage of drinking water during hot weather, in Shimla. (Photo: PTI)

In a respite from acute water shortage situation in Shimla, authorities increased water supply for the second day on Sunday, even though rationing system put in place in the Himachal Pradesh would continue, officials said.  Shimla residents have been struggling with severe water shortage for more than a week now.

To improve the situation of water shortage in the hills, authorities have put in place a rationing system under which the state capital has been divided into three zones and each zone receives water alternatively – after two days.

On Saturday, the volume of water supply was increased by 7 million litres per day to 28 MLD. Today, supply was further increased to 37 MLD after the Shimla Municipal Corporation plugged leakages and snapped illegal connections, officials said.

SMC sources said the schedule for supplying water to the three zones would be modified if more water was available. Shimla normally requires 40-45 MLD of water during summers.

Decline in the amount of snowfall and rainfall spells the doom in Himachal, resulting in shortage of water supply. Winters are getting warmer and drier in northern India with hilly areas getting worst affected.

The higher education department has ordered government schools to remain shut for a week in view of water shortage. There would be no monsoon break in schools this year, it said. Public schools have been ordered shut for 10 days.

Army and police personnel too have been working with SMC to find ways to improve water supply in the state capital.

Meanwhile, the issue has raised political heat as well with the Congress taking on the ruling BJP and the municipal bodies ruled by it.

Local authorities now hope that the pre-monsoon showers by the third week of June should improve the situation.

(with agency inputs)