The Himachal Pradesh high court on Thursday pulled up the successive state governments and municipal corporation (MC) for failing to mitigate water shortage in Shimla.
While directing the Shimla MC to remove all leakages within a week, the court also told the civic body and state government to file a status report, along with complete data regarding the amount of water supplied by it to Shimla in May.
Vacation judge justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders while taking a suo moto notice of a news item published in a vernacular.
Listing the matter for June 29, the HC also asked the government to explain the steps taken to identify additional water sources to resolve water scarcity in the future as well.
Ruling that scant attention was being given to provide adequate potable water to the city, the court asked the state whether there was any provision to test the water being supplied in Shimla and how frequently such tests were being conducted.
The court further sought explanation about generators installed at the pumping stations and steps initiated to provide alternative electricity supply to the pumping stations.
"What is more shocking is that that the municipal corporation is still dependent upon the supply of electricity by the state electricity board for pumping of the water and has not cared to install generators. Even the board has not cared to provide an alternative supply," the order read.
Shimla MC was asked to apprise the court of water storage capacity of hotels in the city, besides the amount of water supplied to hotels additionally.
In summer, water demand in Shimla rises exponentially in wake of high tourist influx and depleting water level in sources located in the city's periphery.