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  India   All India  02 Jun 2018  Parched Shimla forced to shut door on tourists

Parched Shimla forced to shut door on tourists

THE ASIAN AGE. | TANVEER THAKUR
Published : Jun 2, 2018, 6:12 am IST
Updated : Jun 2, 2018, 6:12 am IST

Shimla is classic case of decay of a historical town and the present water crisis is one of its manifestations.

Shimla residents have remained without water for 10 days in succession forcing some of the residents to leave the city temporarily. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Shimla residents have remained without water for 10 days in succession forcing some of the residents to leave the city temporarily. (Photo: Pixabay)

Chandigarh: Shimla, the queen of hills and the summer capital of British India, is going through the worst water crisis in its history. Shimla residents have remained without water for 10 days in succession forcing some of the residents to leave the city temporarily. Ironical it may seem but residents and hoteliers of the town are appealing to tourists not to visit the town due to water crisis.

Shimla is classic case of decay of a historical town and the present water crisis is one of its manifestations.

 

The crisis could be gauged from the fact that the Himachal Pradesh high court has taken a sue moto cognisance of the severe water crisis and directed the municipal corporation not to supply water through tankers as an emergency measure.

This includes those living in VIP areas, like judges, ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats and police officers. While hearing the case of acute water shortage in the hill town, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel suspended  construction activity within Shimla planning area for one week.

The Acting Chief Justice even went on a surprise visit to the four control rooms of Shimla Municipal Corporation to monitor the crisis management.

 

“It was bound to happen. Nobody cared to address the issue of the unplanned development that has taken place over the years. Nobody talks about the carrying capacity of the towns in the hills,” said activist Manshi Asher of Himdhara — an environment research organisation.

Shimla was planned to cater to a population of around 25,000, however, now its population is more than two lakhs. During the tourist season in summers the load increases by another lakh or so.

Locals blame unauthorised construction for the crisis being  faced by the town.

“The springs from which we used to quench our thirst just 30 years back today have hotels built on them. An abnormally high number of houses have been allowed to turn into hotels,” said Rohit Sharma, a former Shimla resident living in Chandigarh.

 

To make matters worse, reinforced cement concrete construction has been allowed all over the place that has prevented recharge of natural water resources.

“It is a simple case of sluggish government and administration. They have failed to curtail the mismanagement. The least that could have been done is that the ‘bavdis’ (natural water sources) could have been treated. We were able to get three of them treated under a project with the EU and there has been no water crisis in  these areas,” said former deputy mayor Tikender Panwar of the CPI(M).

Tags: shimla, water