Shimla Water Crisis: Public outrage over distribution in Shimla
Shimla, July 14
Residents of Shimla are raising concerns about the alleged preferential water distribution by the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL). While areas inhabited by VVIPs, bureaucrats, ministerial staff, and MLA quarters receive water supply, the general public and outskirts of the city have been without water for the past six days, following heavy rainfall.
Critics claim that the SMC and SJPNL are engaging in unfair practices, being alleged to as ‘Monkey business.’ They argue that influential areas and colonies are given priority while the ordinary citizens struggle to find even a bucket of water. The SMC has claimed to be receiving one-third of the usual water supply, which, according to their estimates, should allow for water distribution every third day throughout Shimla. However, contrary to these claims, some areas have not received water for a week.
This discriminatory distribution of water has sparked outrage among the public. Members of the Tutu unit of the Shimla Nagrik Sabha protested the lack of water supply by gathering outside the Mayor’s office at the Municipal Corporation Shimla, carrying empty vessels. They highlighted the disparity and nepotism in water distribution, where influential individuals receive regular water supply, while the general public suffers.
Vijender Mehra, the co-convenor of SNS, and Hemraj Chaudhary, the Tutu unit secretary, have voiced their concerns over the water crisis. They stated that Tutu and Shimla have been deprived of water for several days, and both the Municipal Corporation and Jal Shakti Department have failed to address the issue. The situation has left the public in great distress, with no relief from the authorities.
Mehra has urged the SMC to improve coordination with the SJPNL in tackling this severe water crisis and ensure regular water supply to the public. He emphasized that any unfair distribution of water will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Given the current situation, he demanded that water be supplied to the entire town of Shimla every third day.
Narendra Sharma, a resident of Middle Bazar, revealed that water is being selectively provided to MLA quarters by keymen, despite the lack of water supply in the rest of the town. When Sharma confronted one of the keymen and a Junior Engineer from SJPNL, they expressed helplessness, claiming it was beyond their control. He alleged that areas such as Chhota Shimla, Benmore ward, US club, Brockhurst, and Sanjauli were receiving water, while the entire town suffered without it.
The lack of water supply has created significant difficulties for the public. Even roadside buildings are not receiving water through water tankers, let alone those located further away. People are forced to walk long distances, up to a kilometer, to access water from hand pumps.
On the other hand this urgent situation is well known to the authorities. “At Giri water lifting station only two pumps are working currently, informed Sahil Sharma from SJPNL. Adding,” also Sanjauli area gets its supply from ‘Churut’ water source, which is working normal. Even areas like Kasumpti and Vikasnagar get water from other sources, and therefore even their supply is running normal. “But all other parts which are linked with Giri and peripheral sources, their supply are currently facing the crisis.
Even as the SJPNL is working tirelessly to get things in control, but if not done promptly may lead to another water crisis agitation in Capital Shimla, as public outrage is rising.
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