HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Hopefully, Mussoorie will not face water shortage this summer

Anmol Jain  Mussoorie, March 02, 2014
First Published: 17:07 IST(2/3/2014) | Last Updated: 17:11 IST(2/3/2014)

With heavy snowfall, prolonged spells of rainfall and overcast conditions that lingered for most part the year so far, the residents of Mussoorie are arguably battling a bitter winter.


However, there is a silver lining. Environmentalists say the snowfall would have replenished the underground water to such a level that there would not be any scarcity of water during the summer in Mussoorie.

Vipin Gupta, a noted environmentalist, said, “The heavy snowfall would have recharged the underground aquifers, which will supply enough water to the rivers and springs here during the summer.”

He said the run-off of water after a rain is faster and there is little chance of the water seeping into the soil. But in case of a snowfall, particularly a heavy snowfall, run-off is slower and percolation of water is more, he added.

“So a heavy snowfall helps greatly in recharging the underground water level,” Gupta said.

Mussoorie town derives most of the water it needs from several springs located around the town. The water from these springs is tapped and then pumped to the reservoirs.

However, the town faces acute water crisis during the summer months as the estimated demand for water peaks to 13 million litres per day as opposed to its availability at 7.51 MLD.

Residents who have been living here for past several decades said the water discharge over the last few years to the springs around Mussoorie have declined and water shortage during summer has become a routine. The water availability in six springs around Mussoorie had come down by 37% since 1970.

more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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