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Drinking water shortage hits Solan and surrounding villages; Residents face hardship

A KASHYAP/ Solan, May 26

The residents of Solan, along with numerous villages in the region, have been grappling with a severe shortage of drinking water for the past week. As per information, the situation has been exacerbated by a lack of coordination between the authorities of the Solan Municipal Corporation and the Jal Shakti department. Despite the ruling party’s promise to provide sufficient drinking water to the residents, the supply has remained disrupted in several areas of the town for the fourth consecutive day.

The unannounced suspension and rationing of drinking water have caused immense hardship, particularly to women, the elderly, and disabled individuals. The functioning of the local Municipal Corporation has come under scrutiny as they have failed to improve the water distribution system and ensure regular supply to the town. Moreover, instead of making alternative arrangements such as water tankers, the local administration has turned a blind eye to the problem.

Sources within the Municipal Corporation have revealed that the trouble began when the Jal Shakti department suspended water lifting operations from the Giri and Ashwani water lifting schemes due to an increase in silt level following recent light to moderate rains in the region. The situation was further compounded when a water lifting motor at the Giri scheme malfunctioned, prompting the Jal Shakti Department to suspend water lifting operations at both the Giri and Ashwani river pumping stations. The sudden increase in silt level in the river water at these pumping stations has led to a water crisis in several parts of the town. The Jal Shakti Department was responsible for supplying potable water from the Giri lift water scheme to Solan and over 140 villages in the Solan and Kasauli assembly segments.

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Criticism has been directed towards the Municipal Corporation authorities for their failure to address the crisis. Shailender Gupta, a sitting councillor, expressed disappointment over the repeated unannounced suspension of drinking water supply, suggesting a lack of attention from the current government. He urged the concerned authorities to take corrective measures and provide regular water supply instead of misleading higher officials about the situation.

Another councillor echoed these sentiments, stating that the MC Commissioner and other authorities should make alternate arrangements for potable water and inform residents well in advance to mitigate hardships, as the town lacks natural water sources.

Jagdish Bhardwaj, the state general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), highlighted the prolonged water supply issue in the Power House Road area, where residents have been experiencing water scarcity for the past couple of months. Despite repeated requests, the authorities have not taken effective measures to address the problem.

Acknowledging the shortage, an official from the Municipal Corporation stated that the Jal Shakti department supplied 14 lakh gallons of water on Thursday and eight lakh gallons on Friday, falling short of the demand of around 20 gallons per day.

Sumit Sood, the Jal Shakti department’s XEN, attributed the problem to an increase in mud particles in the river water, which was further exacerbated by the burning of a water lifting pump. He assured that the water supply would be normalized within the next 48 hours.

MC Commissioner Jafar Iqbal placed the blame on the inadequate supply provided by the Jal Shakti department, which resulted in the water problem in the town. He explained that the recent rains had forced the department to curtail water supply due to the rise in silt level. Iqbal emphasized the need for future augmentation of schemes to ensure regular water supply.


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