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No taking water tankers to VIPs in Shimla: HC

May 30, 2018 05:50 AM


No taking water tankers to VIPs in Shimla: HC


With Shimla facing a severe water crisis, the Himachal Pradesh High Court, on Tuesday, directed the municipal corporation not to supply water through tankers to any individual except in an emergency. This includes those living in the VIP area, like judges (including the acting Chief Justice), ministers, MLAs bureaucrats and police officers. The court, however, clarified that this order would not apply to the residences and offices of the Governor and chief minister.

While hearing the case of acute water shortage in the hill town, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel said that all construction activity within Shimla planning area would be suspended for at least one week. After that a special committee would be formed which will allow construction after looking at the prevalent situation. The committee will include the Shimla DC and the municipal commissioner along with other officials.

HP high court suspends car washing in municipal limits

The judges also asked the state chief secretary and municipal commissioner to immediately approach army authorities and have the water used for the golf course at Annadale diverted to the city. Also, the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, which has got huge water storage tanks, should be asked to help meet the needs of the city, the court said.

“We are hopeful that the said authorities shall be considerate in responding to such requests in this hour of crises which the city is passing through,” the bench said. Court has also suspended car-washing in the municipal limits till the situation improves and asked the authorities to sensitise residents on the need to save water.

During the hearing, advocate general Ashok Sharma informed the court that a committee headed by the chief secretary had been constituted. Also, the chief secretary was monitoring the situation on an hourly basis. The government also submitted short-term measures taken to resolve the crisis.

“In our considered view, the overall position is of crisis which requires nothing but effective management and immediate redressal at the ground level so that residents receive bare minimum quantity of potable drinking water,” the court observed.

As much as 18.5 MLD of water is being received by the municipal corporation from all sources at present. It is this water, which is required to be distributed to all residents and commercial establishments within the municipal limits of the town.

Shimla municipal commissioner Rohit Jamwal told the court that measures to plug leakage of approximately 3.5 million litres daily had already been taken. “Let an affidavit indicating such measures be filed by tomorrow. Also, how best local perennial sources can be tapped to augment the water supply be explored and affidavit filed,” the court said

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