The water crisis in Shimla eased marginally on Saturday after supply to the city was increased from 22.5 million litres a day to 28 million litres a day, PTI reported. However, residents continued to protest in several parts of the city and blocked roads.
The city’s daily requirement of water is around 42 million litres a day.
The Himachal Pradesh Directorate of Education ordered all government schools in the city to remain closed from Monday to Friday “because of the increased tourist activity”. While some reports cited the water crisis as a reason, the government did not officially say so. Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj did not deny that the water crisis was also a factor for the move, The Indian Express reported.
Meanwhile, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahinder Singh suspended the sub-divisional officer of the Shimla Municipal Corporation for negligence. Residents are demanding the resignation of the mayor, deputy mayor and municipal commissioner, he said.
Residents of Kasumpti, Mahli, Jiwanu and Panthaghati localities blocked roads in protest against the inadequate water supply. Some women reached the water control room in Chhota Shimla carrying sticks.
A 65-year-old woman died on Saturday after a water tanker hit her on Mall Road in Shimla. The driver of the vehicle was allegedly driving in a rash manner when the accident took place. He has been booked for rash driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Shimla has been facing a water shortage since the last week of May. The municipal corporation on Friday cut water connections to 40 hotels in the city that had not paid their bills after the Himachal Pradesh High Court pulled up the civic body and its top officials for failing to carry out the order to cut the water supply to these places.