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HP drinking water crisis to worsen: Report
November 06, 2006 13:09 IST
The drinking water crisis is likely to deepen in Himachal Pradesh by 2021 due to excessive melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region and its increased demand from developing industrial areas and other parts of the state, a report said.
The demand for drinking water, which was eight crore litres per day at present, was likely to reach 13 crore litres by 2021, an Indian Council for Agricultural Research report said.
The excessive melting of the glaciers in the Himalayan region and demand for drinking water from the developing industrial areas of the state were likely to aggravate the crisis, it said.
The report said one of the reasons why the drinking water crisis was likely to increase in the future was due to the construction of the dam over Pareechhu River in Tibet by Chinese authorities.
While the demand for drinking water in the urban areas of the state was likely to reach 15.04 crore litre per day by 2021, the demand in the rural areas was likely to reach three times in urban areas at 57.59 crore litre.
Of the 15 crore litre demand in the urban areas, about one third of it would be required to fulfill the drinking water needs of the people of Shimla town, it said.
The ICAR report says that a person in the rural area would only be provided 41 litre water per day as against 70 litres being provided as of now.
Since there would be a huge gap in demand and supply of the water in the state in the coming years, agitations and violence could not be ruled out, it said.
The report said the water level in the rivers of the state was declining due to excessive melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region adding, that this could be attributed to rising temperatures in the world.
The water level in the Sutlej River was likely to fall by 40 per cent after the construction of the dam over the river, it said adding, that it would also affect power generation in the hydel projects being set up over the river.
State Irrigation and Public Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur has already said that all habitations in the state would be providing drinking water by 2008.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had during his visit to the state earlier in the year promised Rs 500 crore loan to Himachal Pradesh to provide drinking water to all habitations in the state.