CHANDIGARH: Residents and people visiting the Queen of Hills got some respite on Sunday as the water supply to Shimla increased by 10 million litres per day (MLD), after the Shimla Municipal Corporation cracked the whip on hotels and resorts and also plugged leaks and pilferage.
Sources said the municipal corporation has cut water supply to 14 hotels out of the 39 resorts on which it has taken action as some of them allegedly had illegal water connections and a few others had not paid water bills.
The rise in water supply could also be attributed to water being drawn from Chaba weir into Guma, digging more borewells and cutting off illegal water supply to farmers in Guma and Giri during the day.
It is also learnt that water distribution is being done equally in all areas with no interference from politicians who usually favour water supply in their constituencies.
As much as 4 MLD of water was lost daily due to leaks in the pipelines from Guma and Giri streams. Shimla requires 42 MLD water, but was only getting around 22 MLD earlier, but now this supply has been increased to 37.85 MLD, of which 33 MLD is from both these water sources.
Given the water crisis, the Himachal High Court has been monitoring the water distribution closely. It banned washing of cars until normal water supply was restored and has ordered sector-wise distribution of water until monsoon arrives.
Meanwhile, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur has ordered the suspension of the Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) of the Municipal Corporation for negligence in water distribution.
On Saturday, a 65-year-old woman was killed when a water tanker hit her on the Mall Road in Shimla. She, along with her daughter-in-law and grandchild was walking, when the mishap occurred.
Surging crowds, creaking infra
The stream at Gumma was giving 10.6 MLD water against capacity of 21 MLD.
The Giri stream was providing only 9.75 MLD water against the installed capacity of 20 MLD.
Approximately, 4 MLD of water was wasted due to the old distribution system and pipe leakage.
While Shimla has 2.20 lakh locals, 20,000 tourists visit it daily in summers.