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Shimla bid to 'wash off' water crisis tag; `69 cr scheme launched

Shimla bid to wash off water crisis tag; `69 cr scheme launched

Ashwani Sharma

Shimla: In a bid to the wash-off unappealing tag of the water crisis, which adversely hitting Shimla's popular image as leading summer tourists' destination, a Rs 69 crore new water supply scheme was launched on Tuesday to make additional 10 MLD of water to the hill town.

The scheme, as par targets, given to state's Irrigation and Public Health (IPH), will be formally commissioned before next summers, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur

announced, sending a clear message, to deal with the water crisis in Shimla.

During last summers, the water availability in the town had dipped down to 17 MLD against the requirement of 42 to 44 MLD. Half a dozen sources supplying water to the town witnessed deletion in the water level, due to drought and scanty snowfall in the winters

Though the Shimla Municipal Corporation has been able to make-up gap showing increased availability up to 48 -49 MLD, but impending summers could be a challenge to maintain supply line.

"This scheme will be a medium-term arrangement adding a significant 10 MLD of water in the overall availability. Despite snow season, which has already set-in, we have a tough challenge to see the job done before the summer season. Shimla can't afford to slip into another season of the water crisis," admits Suman Vikrant, Engineer-in-Chief, IPH.

Even Chief Minister spoke about an ambitious plan to ensure 24 X7 water supply to the town once the scheme is completed in April 2019.

Some of the measures already taken by the Municipal Corporation include replacing a 7-km long old pipeline from Craigneno to Dhalli at cost of Rs 8 crore to check leakage of the water.Raising capacity of Giri scheme additional 8 MLD of water and optimising Gumma — Shimla's oldest and main water supply scheme to supply 21 MLD of water.

As per a study done by WAPCOS Ltd, around 47 percent of drinking water pumped for the town goes waste due to leakages and a faulty distribution system, apart from mismanagement.

Shimla's water scheme was designed by the Britishers for a population of 30,000 but now the town has grown to two lakh mark. It gets

additional demand when 15,000 to 20,000 tourists check in hotels and guests houses. During June 2018, it was worst as Shimla went without water for eight days.

Ashwani Sharma

Ashwani Sharma

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