Water scarcity fuels concern in hospitality industry

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Shimla, Mar 21 (UNI) The hospitality industry in Himachal Pradesh's state capital is already getting jitters with the town facing an imminent drinking water crisis with the local urban body introducing ''rationing of water'', days ahead of the summers.

The hospitality industry is concerned over the grim water situation as the water crisis is likely to deepen, (if alternate solutions were not made by the civic authorities at the earliest) in the days to come when water requirement increases manifold due to the influx of tourists during the summers.

The most disturbing fact this time has been that most localities of the town have already started going without water even before the summer.

The peripheral areas of the town including Kasumpti, Panthaghati, Vikas Nagar, Chotta Shimla Summer Hill, New Shimla, Khalani, Ram Nagar areas are already reeling under severe water shortage and are being provided with water on alternate days with some of the areas receiving water supply for 15 to 30 minutes only.

''We are facing shortage of water and consequently our business is bound to suffer, Shimla MC should take immediate steps to solve this crisis as it will adversely effect tourism industry,'' rued a local hotelier, adding, ''Every year we have to explore alternate arrangements for water through purchase of water from private agencies and the municipality on the per tanker basis to meet the demand.'' Concerned over the water paucity, another hotelier said, ''With no additional water supply schemes and civic authorities depending on old water sources, the situation gets worse with the influx of tourist in the summers. And the same situation is likely to be repeated this year.'' Most of the hotels, restaurants and guesthouses in the town have already started fulfilling their water needs by procuring water in tankers from nearby water sources.

According to MC authorities, while the hill station with a population of 2,50,000, needs 40 million litres daily, it has only 28 million literes for distribution.

The demand for water during the peak summers is almost doubled with visitors rushing to the town, the sources added.

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