Shimla Goes Dry With The Glaciers
Last month alone brought great misery to Shimla residents as the reservoir levels were in shambles. Industrial development, agricultural demand, deforestation woes and the increasing extension areas of Shimla have ensured the Himalayan glaciers turn almost dry. Dumping of debris in water stream, old pipelines waiting for renovation, illegal tapping of water and change in irrigational practices and crop cultivation pattern are also attributed to the water crisis. The lovely city has been unable to come to terms with the increasing burden of population, and the heavy tourist inflow especially during summer. The vagaries of rain and the hilly terrain of the place have contributed to the locals’ distress. Construction of more borewells to trap water sources has had a boomerang effect by reducing the natural water levels due to the silt. The government has stepped-in, though belatedly. Now, it has to step-up setting-up of alternative water supply lines, put brakes on water leakage and clandestine water tapping because Shimla’s image of a tourist hub is at stake. Many travellers have cancelled their plans to visit Shimla which does not augur well for the State’s tourism. The government’s plan to increase the capacity of popular water sources like Gumma and Giri is welcome. The proposal to construct new water storage tanks and upstream dams to tap water is also laudable. Hotels should be asked to recycle water to the fullest extent. The complaints of tourists throwing waste into water stream should be addressed on a war-footing. The State government has to act with foresight and vision because by the summer next, at the least, when tourist inflow to Shimla is at its maximum, the water crisis should be a thing of the past.
Ganapathi Bhat, Akola
Walking On Dirty Footpaths
The Municipal Council sweepers sweep the streets in the cities everyday. Considering the increase in population and also the increase in the litter-happy gentry of today, the sweepers do a fairly good job. However, they do not clear the dung of stray cattle and dogs from the footpaths which causes inconvenience to the people. People have to hop and skip everytime they see a lump of dung. Those who are not careful enough dirty their feet. In the rainy season, the dung and the rainwater make the footpaths messy and slippery. The shopkeepers having no option place newspapers or cardboard on the mess in front of their shops. Is this the way people should live in Goa? Who should tackle the problem of stray cattle and stray dogs in the cities? If it is not the concern of Municipal Councils, they should at least clear the dung and keep the footpaths clean. People of Goa and the tourists need clean footpaths for carefree walking, not such dungy and messy ones.
Rodney de Souza, Assagao
Fatal Selfies On The Sea Rocks
A swim in the rough sea during the monsoon season can prove very dangerous. There have been five deaths of tourists due to drowning that took place off Calangute beach last week. However it must be said that the rocks present in the sea close to the shore can prove equally dangerous. Tourists visiting the beaches may not be aware of the lurking danger when one climbs on these rocks. In two separate drowning incidents two tourists drowned, one at the Baga beach and the other at Sinquerim, while standing on the rocks to click selfies. A large wave hit the tourists and dragged them into the sea resulting in two deaths. It must be said that it can be very tempting to take photographs or selfies while standing on the rocks which are partly submerged in the sea water. It may seem quite safe to climb the rocks. However these rocks can be very slippery and a wrong footing can land the person into the rough sea. Then there are the huge waves which can hit the rocks without any warning and drag those standing on the rock into the sea. Besides warning the tourists of the dangers of entering the sea during the monsoon, it would be prudent to warn the tourists of the impending danger of climbing on the rocks in the sea as well.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO