Shortfall of water in Shimla: HC takes show cause notice

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    The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Shimla to file its response regarding scarcity of water in Shimla Town.

    A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Chauhan passed these orders on a petition taken up Suo moto by the Court as Civil Public Interest Litigation regarding rising jaundice cases.

    The Chief Engineer, IPH in his reply submitted that at the time of closure of Lift Water Supply Scheme Ashwani Khud, the IPH had been supplying 33-35 MLD bulk water to the Municipal Corporation. As per 2011 census, the population of Shimla Town was 1,69,578 and present population is about 1,82,469.

    As per the urban water supply norms, the prescribed rate of water supply is 135 litre per capita per day and the total requirement of Shimla is about 32 MLD (including demand for permanent population, floating population and institutions). He further submitted that at present the department is supplying about 32 to 35 MLD of water per day to M.C. Shimla and it is divided by the requirement of 135 LPCD the total population which can be fed by this water works out to 2,48,148.

    Therefore, the requirement for 42-45 MLD water per day being portrayed by the M.C. is highly exaggerated. He also alleged that the MC is trying to cover up the leakages and unequal distribution by supplying more water than judiciously required. The M.C. is not paying the bill of the water supplied to the IPH department for many years and on account of Rs.224 Crore is due from the M.C. since 2011.

    He further submitted that as per mandate the M.C. Shimla is to supply water within the M.C. area whereas the IPH is to provide water in the rural areas of Shimla town. The Court posted the matter for 5th May 2016.