Heatwave-hit Shimla to start rationing water - Hindustan Times

Heatwave-hit Shimla to start rationing water

By, Shimla
May 24, 2024 01:23 PM IST

Shimla faces acute water shortages, resorting to rationing due to depleting water levels. Water supply reduced to 5 days a week, impacting residents and tourists.

Amid the continuing heatwave-like conditions, the state capital is staring at yet another bout with acute water shortages. The Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited, (SJPNL) is resorting to water rationing as water levels in the perennial sources supplying water to the town are depleting fast.

Water is rationed every summer after Shimla faced a crisis in 2018 and went without water for 10 days. (HT File)
Water is rationed every summer after Shimla faced a crisis in 2018 and went without water for 10 days. (HT File)

SJPNL on Thursday notified the schedule for water rationing in Shimla, which received 37.5 million litre water per day against the daily supply of 42 million litre per day on Wednesday.

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“Keeping in view the receding water levels at the sources, water supply in Shimla shall be five days a week till the situation improves,” a SJPNL spokesperson said.

Notably, water is rationed every summer after the state capital faced the worst crisis in 2018 when the town went without water for at least 10 days. Residents took to the streets to protest water scarcity, while a woman was killed after she was hit by a water tanker on the busy Mall Road.

The water level at Gumma, a perennial water source (one that is mostly dependent on rainfall, or at least has seasonal exposure to another source of water), has receded to 20.0 million litre per day, while the daily supply at Giri river, a tributary of Yamuna river has fallen to 13.09 million litre per day against 17.68.

The Seogh water supply has completely dried up since last week, while the level in Churat and in Koti Brandi (rivulet) was 1.69 million litre per day and 1.27 million litre per day respectively.

Weekend rush

The demand for water rises manifold on the weekend, when tourists make a beeline for the hill station. Shimla had recorded almost 70 to 80% occupancy in hotels over the weekend.

During the peak period, the town witnesses heavy tourist rush from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the neighbouring areas of Uttarakhand. Those associated with the hospitality industry are expecting more tourists after the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections ends on June 1.

“The water supply of the town has gone down, we keep directing SJPNL to keep up the supply and we have asked them to prepare a contingency plan in case it doesn’t rain further,” mayor Surinder Chauhan said, adding that different localities in town will get water on alternate days.

Dry days ahead

Shimla experienced a light rain on Thursday, but the weather department has predicted dry weather till May 27. “The heatwave-like conditions are likely to persist in the state for the next few days,” regional meteorological station director Surender Paul said, adding. “We are hopeful that the situation will ease out with rain. Shimla recorded the season’s highest temperature at 30° C on May 20.”

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