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Shimla Faces Severe Water Shortage Due To Increased Tourism, Know The Full Matter

Shimla's water consumption has increased due to more tourists. The city has 276 registered hotels, along with many unregistered ones. Additionally, there are around 963 Airbnbs and homestays in the Himachal capital.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: Jun 18, 2024 06:58 IST
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Shimla: This summer, there have been severe heat waves, and the situation is worse in Himachal Pradesh, where a lack of rain and hot weather are causing a serious water crisis by drying up water sources.

Shimla is receiving water every 3-4 days because of low water availability, and municipal authorities are struggling to restore daily supply. The city needs 43 million litres of water per day but is only getting around 30 million litres.

More tourists in Shimla have led to higher water consumption. Shimla has 276 registered hotels, with many unregistered ones as well. Additionally, the Himachal capital has about 963 Airbnbs and homestays.

To meet tourist demand, hotels in Shimla buy water from private tankers, paying between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 per tanker, depending on the hotel’s location. There is no record of how homestays and Airbnbs manage water for their guests. Shimla gets water from six projects: Gumma, Giri, Churat, Chairh, Seog, and Koti-Brandi. On Monday, the city received 20.49 MLD from Gumma, 8.43 MLD from Giri, 1.22 MLD from Churat, no water from Seog, 0.45 MLD from Chairh, and 0.95 MLD from Koti-Brandi, totaling 31.54 MLD.

M.K. Seth, president of the Shimla Hotels and Tourism Stakeholders Association, said the unusually hot weather and long dry spell without rain have worsened the water issue. “In the past few years, the water supply was usually normal, and only a few tankers were needed during the peak season,” he noted. He added that with no rainfall, the water sources have dried up, so the authorities are not to blame for the water shortage.

Shimla faced a similar problem before as well

In the summer of 2018, Shimla faced its worst-ever water crisis, with people struggling for water for weeks, leading to widespread protests against the BJP government led by then-Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. To address the drinking water shortage, the state government supplied water in tankers, but this proved inadequate. On April 16, 2019, the cabinet approved the creation of Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) for managing water supply and wastewater in the Greater Shimla Planning Area.

SJPNL started an ambitious project to draw 67 million liters of water per day (MLD) from the Satluj river. The plan involves lifting water from the Satluj near Shakrodi village to supply 67 MLD to Sanjauli. However, this project, which requires lifting water to a height of 1.6 km and laying 22 km of pipes, will take a few years to complete. As part of this project, the Shimla municipal corporation aims to replace the water distribution pipe network and upgrade it to a 24×7 water supply system.

Also Read: Water Crisis Extends To Delhi’s VIP Areas! NDMC Issues Advisory For Once-A-Day Supply

First published on: Jun 18, 2024 06:58 AM IST

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