New Delhi: Shocked at the appaling shortage of clean water in Shimla currently, locals held a massive protest on Thursday and even blocked National Highway 5 near Kachi Ghati to register their grievances.
Shimla, known as the Queen of Hills, has been grappling with falling water supplies in recent years. This year though, the situation has reached a tipping point with many areas in and around Shimla having to wait a week for water. Tourists have been requested to stay away even as locals line up in front of tankers each day. Many of them, angered by the apparently shoddy supply, held a sit-in dharna on NH 5 to protest against the water crisis. "Our taps have run dry, there has been no supply through pipelines in many days. Even tankers hardly come to residential areas and instead are directed mostly towards VIP areas. This is no way," said one of the protestors. Many others from areas around Shimla have alleged that the situation in villages are far grimmer than in the state capital.
Over the years, Shimla's resources have been stretched and because of less rainfall, water bodies have begun drying up. Shimla's daily demand for water is at 32 to 35 million litres but the supply currently is at about 21.75 million litres per day.
On Tuesday, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had ordered that construction activities in the core areas of the city be halted immediately. The court also ordered that no tankers would be sent to individuals even if they are ministers and judges. The Governor and Chief Minister was exempted from this order.
(With agency inputs)