Shimla, June 2: Himachal Pradesh‘s Department of Education on Saturday decided to close down all government schools in the state’s capital- Shimla from June 4 to June 8, in view of the water shortage in the district, ANI reported. However, the schools will remain open during annual monsoon break which is scheduled in July. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur cited the decline in rain and snowfall in 2018 as the reasons for acute water shortage in Shimla.

“This year we have received less snowfall and rain in Himachal Pradesh. The water level in the traditional water resources in Shimla has gone down. The water level which was around 36 MLD (millions of litres per day) in 2015 has gone down to 22 MLD this year,” Thakur told ANI.

CM Jai Ram Thakur has asserted that the increasing population of Shimla is leading to such crisis. As quoted by ANI, he said, “It’s tourist season & population of Shimla has also increased leading to such crisis. Our govt took measures to resolve the issue. Yesterday’s rain has brought some relief as the water level has increased to 28.4 MLD (Millions of Liters Per Day).”

On June 1, the authorities issued an order to snap illegal water supply to normalise the water crisis in Shimla. Speaking to ANI, Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap said, “I received a couple of complaints regarding the illegal connections of water and they were correct. So, I have ordered the seizure of the same and have told the concerned people to take appropriate action against the culprits.” He said that he was directed by the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary of the state itself to take stern action against this.

Shimla Water Crisis

Shimla, a famous tourist destination, has been facing acute water crisis since many days. The situation is so worse that the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed the state government and the Shimla Municipal Corporation to not allow any water supply for building construction and car washing. Meanwhile, the Centre also had sought a report on the matter from the state government. Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur has directed to suspend Sub-Divisional Officer of Municipal Corporation, Shimla for negligence in water distribution in the city.

Protests continue in the city over the crisis. The Congress activists and the locals have taken to roads to express their anger. Meanwhile, a message, pleading the tourists to stay away from the hill town, is going viral on the internet.

As per the officials, the reason behind the acute water shortage in the city is due to scanty rains and less snowfall this year.

(With agency inputs)