People of the state and the country needed to be sensitized regarding water conservation as water was the most precious natural gift which should be used judiciously. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the water awareness workshop and appreciation Awards 2019 function organized by daily newspaper Himachal Dastak, here today.Jai Ram Thakur thanked Himachal Dastak for appreciating the efforts of the state government to tackle water crisis in Shimla town. He said that the Shimla water crisis during last year was unexpected and the state government made all-out efforts to cope with this problem and even the Prime Minister showed his concern over this crisis.He said that it was then government that decided that it would leave no stone unturned to ensure that this crisis does not occur again. Various steps were taken and the result was that there was no crisis during this summer as Shimla town was today getting over 53 ml/d water daily as compared to 18 ml/d water during last summer, he said.Jai Ram Thakur said that 9ml/d water was going waste daily in Shimla town due to leakage from water lines. He said that the government decided to lift water from Chaba to Gumma and adequate funds were provided for this. He said that the project was completed in a record time of 140 days and Shimla was today getting adequate water. He said that Rs. 90 crore have been provided for Giri water supply scheme. Rs. 986 crore World Bank project for water supply of Shimla town would go a long way in solving the water problem of the town for next 50 years.
Chief Minister said that everyone must come forward to ensure rain water harvesting to save rain water from going unused. He said that this would help in increasing ground water level and provide adequate drinking water to the people besides ensuring availability of water for future generations.He also presented Appreciation Awards to the officers, employees and organisations for their commendable efforts in Water Conservation.He conferred these awards to engineers of IPH Varinder Thakur, Dinesh, Ranjit, Manoj and Ajay Gularia for ensuing completion of Chaba to Gumma Scheme before stipulated time. He also conferred these awards to Junior Engineers and 11 key men and fitters of Shimla for working relentlessly for checking water leakage and ‘Jal Shakti Samuh’ for reporting the water leakage to Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited.Chief Minister also honoured 8 Jal Sakhi Samuhs of Shimla town for doing commendable work in reporting the leakages and other wastage of water.He honoured Mayor Kusum Sedrate, Engineer-in-Chief, IPH Navin Puri, Deputy Commissioner Shimla Amit Kashyap, MD Shimla Jal Parbandhan Nigam Ltd for their contribution in helping overcome water crisis of Shimla town.A documentary on ‘Effective Management of Water for Shimla Town’ produced by Information and Public Relations Department in collaboration with the Shimla Jal Parbandhan Nigam Limited was also screened on the occasion.Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur said that the state government has ensured that the people of the capital do not have to face water crisis this summer season which they had faced during the summer months of last year. He said that effective steps were taken to check water leakage and provide additional water to the town from other sources.
He said that the union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formed Ministry of Jal Shakti by merging of two ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He thanked the CM for providing adequate funds for water supply schemes for Shimla town as well as other parts of the state. Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the Shimla town was not only a world famous tourist destination and capital of the state, but also ever expanding hill town of the country. He said that Shimla town was developed by British as their holiday station and later as summer capital of British India to save themselves from hot summers. He said that the water supply was also designed and developed by them to cater to the need of about 35000 populations. Now the population of the Shimla town has increased ten fold. He said that, therefore, it become an arduous task to ensure adequate water supply to the ever increasing population of the town and credit of ensuring adequate supply to Shimla town goes to the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.Chairman Himachal Dastak Daily K.D. Shreedhar said that the duty of the newspaper was to make the masses aware regarding events around us and not just criticizing the government. It is also the duty of the media to give due space to positive and success stories, he added. He said that Himachal Dastak was striving to highlight some positive and commendable initiatives taken by the government and organisations. Editor Himachal Dastak Hament Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary-cum Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. Shrikant Baldi, former Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Sanjay Chauhan, representatives from tourism industry of Shimla town were present on the occasion among others.