Himachal Pradesh’s Ministry of Urban Development has decided to include provision of safe drinking water in the Smart City proposal for Dharamshala that has to be submitted to the Centre by April 15.
State Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said the decision to include safe drinking water in the proposal has come nearly four months after an outbreak of jaundice in Shimla, 238 km from Dharamshala, due to contaminated water.
He said the government is planning to locate a special water catchment for the town under the project. “Every possibility to provide safe drinking water to the residents of Dharamshala is being worked out. Not only this, we have worked on crematoriums for human and animals both to protect the ecology of this hill town,” he said.
Dharamshala was ranked 23rd and missed out by three ranks to make it to the first list of top 20 by the Union Urban Ministry.
At present, Dharamshala gets its water supply from springs and streams originating in the high-altitude Dhauladhar mountains: Glenmore spring, Bhagsunag spring, Charan Khad, Bather Khad, and Gajeu Khad.
The flow in these springs and khads (streams) depends on a variety of factors, including rainfall, snowfall, rate of snowmelt, land use in catchment, and is also likely to be affected by climate change.