Not satisfied with the status report filed by the city's municipal corporation, the Himachal Pradesh high court on Wednesday set up two committees to resolve the perennial water shortage problem in the state capital.
While passing the order a division bench comprising chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan said: "The respondents have filed the status or compliance reports. However, the court finds they had not taken steps to do the needful and the reports submitted are not satisfactory."
Posting the matter to August 5, the court constituted a committee that will be headed by the chief engineer in the irrigation and public health department and include the department's superintending engineer and the Shimla municipal corporation commissioner as members. The panel will be tasked with ensuring adequate water supply to Shimla.
Another committee headed by the chief secretary and comprising the additional chief secretary in the irrigation and public health department, the principal law secretary, the Shimla MC commissioner and the town and country planning department director as members.
The bench ruled the panel would be tasked with suggesting ways and means to ensure water supply in and around Shimla was regulated effectively. "The committee is also directed to take all measures for doing the needful in terms of the directions on June 11," the court said.
The court also pointed out that the Shimla MC had mentioned water storage tanks with a capacity of 3 lakh litres had been constructed above Corner House, Sanjauli, and near Tara Mata Mandir with a capacity of 6 lakh litres, but they could not be made operational for want of funds. "Though the municipal corporation is having its own resources, the fact that the civic body failed to make the storage tanks operational for want of a petty amount of `25 lakh is an eye opener to all respondents, including the chief secretary," the court observed.
Court's questions for Shimla MC
What quantity of water is being supplied to hoteliers?
How many water connections have been provided directly from the main water supply line?
What system is in place to plug water leakage and what remedial steps have been taken?
What mechanism is in place to regulate water supply' to hoteliers and city residents?