Contaminated water supply in Shimla

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Shimla, Feb.13 (ANI): Residents of Shimla are a worried lot these days following a contaminated water supply to their houses which has become a major health hazard. The administration says, the samples tested have been found okay.

Till now, over 200 patients, including tourists and locals, have been treated for viral infections due to consumption of contaminated water.

The problem has been continuing for last few days. Some locals fear that the water problem may affect the local tourism industry.

Shimla is a famous hill station, visited by honeymooners and others in large numbers.

The most affected areas being Shimla's Vikasnagar, Kasumpti and New Shimla.

Over two dozen government and private hospitals in the area have registered cases of patients suffering from water-borne diseases like Hepatitis E and Jaundice.

Meanwhile, as per medical practitioners the rampant illness among people is due to consumption of contaminated water.

"For the past 10-15 days we are receiving contaminated water supply. Drinking the dirty water is resulting in various kinds of viral infections like jaundice amongst the people in the area. Shimla is a tourist hub and people come here in large numbers especially during the winter season. But if the visitors come to know about this problem then it will affect the city's tourism greatly. So, we want the local government to take immediate action regarding the same," said Sohan Singh, a local resident of Shimla.

The affected localities are supplied water from the Ashwani Khud drinking water scheme, managed by the Irrigation and Public Health Department (IPH) and distributed by the Shimla Municipal Corporation.

Local administrative authorities, however, claim that all the water sources in the area are regularly tested and verified in different laboratories.

"We are regularly testing the water sources, not just in labs here in Shimla but we have also got the samples tested in the government authorized laboratory in national capital Delhi. The water samples have been deemed safe for consumption. For the satisfaction of the locals, I have ordered that the water samples are tested on a regular basis," said Ravinder Ravi, Irrigation and Public Health minister of Himachal Pradesh.

Ravi blamed the local residents of certain areas like Vikasnagar for the problem saying it happens because they have not taken the sewage supply connection, which in turn, is contaminating the drinking water supplied in the area. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)

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