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Ex-Mayor claims credit for improved water supply to Shimla city

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Shimla water pumping stations

Corporation had spent over Rs 100 crore for the repair and purchase of pipelines, water treatment plants, pumps, bulk meters, etc before the signing of the MoU.

Shimla: Shimla city has been facing acute shortage of water that intensified during the last couple of years. Shimla required 45 MLD water daily to fulfill the total water requirement. The city was, however, receiving only 28 to 34 MLD daily.

Now as the situation has improved, Bhartiya Janata Party is claiming all credit for it. However, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla, explains how SMC had worked to fix the problem during his tenure.

A large amount of water was lost due to leakage in the supply pipes. The pipes were not maintained for over a decade. Earlier, the 20 MLD Giri water scheme was supplying only 8 to 12 MLD water as rest of the amount was lost in leakages. 

The Gumma station has a capacity of 22 MLD daily but the efficiency had dropped to 12 to 14 MLD due to leakage. The IPH Department did not provide any maintenance since 1982. The supply infrastructure was in tatters.

The IPH Department did not provide any maintenance to the pumping station since 1982, says Chauhan. The supply infrastructure was in tatters. Daily wastage of water worth lakhs of ropes continued unitl mid-2017.

Neither the BJP-led government nor the Congress-led government attended this grieve issue all these years, he says. 

However, currently, the total quantity of water supply from five pumping stations has reached 50 MLD daily and the city has received a respite from water shortage.

Currently, Gumma pumping station is running at a capacity of 21.40 MLD, Giri at 19 MLD, Churat at 4.51 MLD, Chaid 0.49 MLD, and Koti-Barandi at 4.97 MLD.

The quality of water has improved during last 18 months. Not even a single case of jaundice was reported during this period, says Chauhan. 

Prior to 2016, the responsibility of water supply was entrusted on the Irrigation & Public Health Department of Himachal Pradesh Government.

Since 2007, cases of jaundice had begun to appear due to contamination of the drinking water with sewage. In its report in 2007, the NIV Pune had established that the water lifted from Ashwani Khad was contaminated by sewage.

However, last year, after the deadly jaundice outbreak that had killed over two dozen people and affected thousands of others, the SMC took over the control of the water supply to the city, he said.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Irrigation and Public Health and Urban Development department for setting up of the World Bank aided Rs. 720 crores Greater Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Circle (GSWSSC).

Two strategies were framed to improve the quantity and quality of the water supply.

These included a short-term arrangement of lifting 65 MLD additional water daily from River Sutlej, which will allow 24×7 availability of water to the citizens, says Chauhan.

Secondly, the Corporation attended the problem of leakage by either repairing or replacing old worn out pipelines.

First, the Koti-Barandi scheme was executed in which a pipeline was laid upto Ashwani Khad. The Giri scheme pipelines had started leaking in 2008 – the year it was commissioned. SMC spent four crores to replace about 2 kms long pipeline.

Chauhan claimed the Corporation has already spent over Rs 100 crore for the repair and purchase of pipelines, water treatment plants, pumps, bulk meters, etc before the signing of the MoU.

Further, Chauhan claims that the SMC had questioned the quality of the pipelines and the matter is being investigated by the Vigilance Department.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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vaccination second dose in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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