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Water rationing in Nainital to end only after monsoon sets in: Jal sansthan

The district administration in Nainital won’t end a water rationing system they had implemented in December last year to save Naini lake.

dehradun Updated: Apr 25, 2018 22:19 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
Uttarakhand News
The rationing was launched amid fears that Naini lake, a natural receptor of water percolating down from the hills, will dry up.(HT)

The district administration in Nainital won’t end a water rationing system they had implemented in December last year to save Naini lake – the main source of water for the tourist town.

Sunil Tiwari, executive engineer of Jal Sansthan, Wednesday confirmed that the rationing of water that began in December 2017 would continue till the monsoon sets in. “Under the rationing system, we are providing water for 3 hours in the morning and another 3 hours in the evening. Prior to this, the city used to get 12 hours of water supply,” he said.

The rationing was launched amid fears that Naini lake, a natural receptor of water percolating down from the hills, would dry up. The water rationing had come as a shock to the city residents who were used to uninterrupted supply. The hotels and schools, which use large volumes of water, are also affected and are apprehensive of its fallout in the forthcoming tourist season that begins from May.

Tiwari said the Jal Sansthan has the capacity to supply 14-16 million litres per day (MLD) to Nainital city, “but we are supplying lesser drinking water due to constraints as the lake is shrinking”.

“Due to this we are currently supplying only 8 MLD and have asked the schools and hotels to not fill up their swimming pools till the monsoons arrive,” said Tiwari.

He also said that the department would take decision on increasing water supply to the city in the tourist season based on condition of the lake. It is noteworthy to mention that the drinking water is sourced from the tubewells dug around the lake, which indirectly take water from the lake.

Rajesh Shah, secretary of Hotel and Restaurants Association of Nainital, said that though they were somehow managing with the curtailed water supply, they would need nearly double off what they are getting now when the tourist season begins. “We are hoping that the department will increase the water supply at that time so that the tourists do not have to face problems and the charm of Nainital remains intact among them”, he said.

The water level in the famous lake has dropped to one foot below the zero level mark by the end of February last year. In yesteryears, water in the lake had mostly remained in the range of 5 feet to 7 feet above the minimal mark, according to environmentalists.

The winter months up to March from December witness a good amount of rain and snowfall. This helps in maintaining a reasonable water level after the monsoon. A frightening picture had also come up with the emergence of deltas in and around the area of the lake.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 22:19 IST