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Farmers come to aid of HP govt to resolve water crisis in Shimla

Sanjeev Kumar | Shimla |

Farmers in water catchment area of major water supply schemes, Giri and Gumma  have agreed to not use water for 15 hours every day from kulhs (small canals) for irrigation purposes.

This was revealed by Irrigation and Public Health minister Mahender Singh Thakur who met farmers of these areas on Wednesday and Thursday.

“I had visited Gumma area yesterday and took stock of situation at water lifting scheme. We also met the farmers who are using the water from river for irrigation purposes and convinced them to not to use water from the river for some days to resolve the crisis,” Thakur told The Statesman.

He said he met farmers in Giri area on Thursday and they were also told to abstain from using the water from river till situation becomes normal in the state capital.

“The farmers of both Gumma and Giri region had agreed to not to use water for irrigation purposes for 15 hours every day and close the irrigation kulhs to contribute towards resolving water problem in Queen of Hills,” he said.

The initiative would result in Shimla getting 14-15 MLD (million litre water daily) from Gumma from the earlier 9-10 MLD.

Shimla was earlier getting 20-22 MLD water from Gumma water supply scheme alone.

The IPH minister said the present crisis was the result of lack rainfall in the state as water sources are drying up in the catchment areas.

“The water level at Giri and Gumma rivers had declined to 19 mts from the usual 30 mts,” he said.

The government had now started lifting water downstream from Gumma pumping station and two additional water pumping machines had been setup for the purpose. “In addition, 30 water tankers have been deployed at Gumma who would lift water from Sunni in Shimla district and deposit at the main water scheme,” he said, adding it would result in Shimla getting 1 MLD water every day.

“Today, we completed the first of water supply in Shimla city which have been divided into three zones. We are hopeful that the situation would normalises in the state capital in coming three days,” he added.

On the other hand, the district administration has also sprung into action to check leakage of water and illegal water connection in the capital.

The Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap today visited several areas of the city and disconnected a water connection, which was taken from main water supply line to the building of BJP MLA from Chopal Balbir Singh Verma.

Meanwhile, protests continued in several parts of the tourist town of Shimla led by Congress, CPM leaders and even some BJP councilors also staged protests for lack of water supply in their wards.