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Waterless in Shimla: Police detain two, book 60 as water crisis enters Day 10

Agitated over the non -supply of water as promised by the administration, residents of Kaithu brought the traffic to a halt at the main circular road near Tara Hall late on Wednesday.

india Updated: May 31, 2018 23:20 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Waterless in Shimla,Police detain two,60 booked
Police booked more than 60 residents for unlawful assembly in Chotta Shimla, Talland, Sanjauli, Chakkar, Kaithu, Deputy Commissioner Office and Kacchi Ghatti. (HT File Photo)

Police in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla detained two people and booked scores of others as hundreds of angry residents protested against the acute water shortage that the popular hill station has been facing for the last ten days.

About 100 people blocked the Shimla-Kalka National Highway near Kachhi Ghatti twice in the day.

“Cops had pacified the Kacchi Ghatti residents when they tried to block the traffic in the morning but they took to the roads again in the forenoon,” Shimla’s superintendent of police Omapati Jamwal said.

Two people, who were detained by the police at the Sadar police station, were later released.

The police also booked more than 60 residents for unlawful assembly in Chotta Shimla, Talland, Sanjauli, Chakkar, Kaithu, Deputy Commissioner Office and Kacchi Ghatti.

“There is no water in our houses and when we took to the roads, the police misbehaved with us,” Prashant Sharma, a local, said.

A group of people from Benmore municipal ward also went to the residence of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur to complain about the water shortage.

“Our locality was without water for the tenth day today,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Kimi Sood said.

“We had no option but to approach the CM as the municipal corporation and IPH official are not paying any attention to our pleas,” she said adding that Thakur promised to resolve the problem.

The chief minister earlier reviewed the water situation in Shimla and directed officials to take adequate measures.

BJP councillor Arti Chauhan from Engine Ghar ward in Sanjauli started an indefinite hunger strike at the deputy commissioner’s office, demanding immediate supply of water to her ward and threatened to intensify her stir if her demand was not met.

Infuriated by the lack of water, people have been staging protests in different localities of the town.

Protests continued as some localities went without water for the tenth day on Thursday even as authorities released 22 millions of litres per day against a demand of 45 MLD on Wednesday.

Residents of Kaithu brought the traffic to a halt at the main circular road near Tara Hall late on Wednesday agitated over the non-supply of water as promised by the administration.

The residents of the charming town that attracts 20,000 tourists every day have asked the visitors to stay away from during the peak season until it tides over its debilitating water crisis.

The appeal, sent out by residents and environmentalists through social media, comes amid road-blocks and clashes between police and residents in the otherwise peaceful town as its water resources are stretched to the limit.

The Himachal Pradesh high court has also tried to address the situation through a temporary ban on construction activities and washing of cars, besides a directive against according preferential treatment to VIPs such as ministers, bureaucrats and judges.

And on Wednesday, the court ordered authorities to snap the water connections of 224 hotels and guest houses that have not deposited their bills.

First Published: May 31, 2018 16:00 IST