Shimla’s municipal corporation on Friday cut water connections to 40 hotels in the city that have not paid their bills, ANI reported. The Himachal Pradesh High Court had on Thursday pulled up the civic body and its top officials for failing to carry out the order to cut the water supply to these places. The city is facing acute shortage of water for the last few days.
On Thursday, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice AM Goel had expressed its displeasure over senior officials of the civic body not being in court, The Indian Express reported.
The High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the city’s water crisis on Monday. It ordered all construction activity to be stopped in Shimla and banned the washing of cars for a week. It also ordered the municipal commissioner to not allow any tankers to supply water to any individuals, including judges, ministers, bureaucrats and police officers.
Authorities have also started blocking illegal water supply connections in the city. “I received a couple of complaints regarding the illegal connections of water and they were correct,” Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap told ANI. “So, I have ordered the seizure of the same and have told the concerned people to take appropriate action against the culprits.”
Residents of Shimla continued to protest for the third consecutive day on Thursday and blocked roads. The municipal corporation has sought police protection for its field staff as they have been facing the residents’ anger. Over 70 police personnel were deployed to accompany civic body staff distributing water to localities.
Officials told Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur that the municipal corporation was receiving 22.63 million litres of water a day, PTI reported. The city requires 45 million litres of water a day during the summer, which is peak tourist season. Officials also told Thakur they had ensured water supply through tankers for hospitals, educational institutions and public toilets.