The unusual water crisis in Shimla has prompted an unusual response from the state’s highest judicial authority. Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, who is heading the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s special bench hearing the petitions related to the present water crisis, paid a surprise visit to the four control rooms of Shimla Municipal Corporation on Wednesday night.
Along with Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap and Municipal Corporation Commissioner Rohit Jamwal, Justice Karol spent almost the entire night at ground–zero to ensure that water control rooms were functioning without any hindrance. The acting CJ began his surprise inspection at around 11 pm from the Ridge area, which houses the central control room of water supply, and checked status of the complaints received and man-power at the centre.
At the Ridge, he also interacted with tourists and took their feedback on ways to solve the impending water scarcity. He later drove to Chotta Shimla, Sanjauli and took stock of the situation at Chaura maidan and completed his inspection by 3am on Thursday morning.
“It was rare gesture of the Honorable Acting CJ and showed his resolve to see that a highly reliable mechanism is put in place in the town to avoid hardships to the citizens in the future,” officials accompanying Justice Karol said.
The bench hearing petitions over water crisis, which also comprises of Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, is daily monitoring the progress on the steps taken by the Shimla corporation and state government in dealing with unprecedented situation. The court aslo directed Municipal Commissioner Rohit Jamwal and Additional Commissioner (legal) Joginder Chauhan to carry out night vigils so that supply lines were maintained.
The HC has banned any preferential treatment to VIPs – judges, ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats and police officers in supplying water by tankers. The court has also banned supplies for constructions in the town and stopped car washing activities.