Shimla: The state pollution control board has booked high profile Hotel Wildflower Hall for discharging sewage pollutants into a natural drainage channel that is contaminating drinking water sources of about a dozen villages downstream.
Nagin Nanda, member secretary HP pollution control board said, â€œin a surprise check, Hotel Wildflower Hall was found to be violating pollution norms.
Treated sewage water, which the hotel was permitted to use only for gardening purposes, was found being illegally discharged into a Nallah,â€ he said.
â€œWater and soil samples have been taken and a case is being made out,â€ said Nanda.
Villagers downstream of the hotel located on a densely wooded hilltop are up in arms against the reputed five star hotel as there water sources are facing persist contamination problems.
Amar Singh Verma, President Yuva Mandal of Nihari, which is one of the effected villages says, â€œDespite several complaints, no action has been taken against the hotel that pollutes the entire Nallah.â€
â€œSince April, every second or third night, sewage is being discharged in the open Nallah and it has made our life hell,â€ said Amar Singh.
Downstream in the seasonal channel are spring water sources that supply water to the villages of Nihari, Gurna, Ghatti Kanda, Ujjar, Naun, Chibber, Matityar, Changan, Sappar, Kukli, Halder and Karyal.
Ramesh Verma, who has farmlands in Nihari says that chemical pollutants from the untreated sewage has been damaging crops.
â€œLast year, there was a dysentery outbreak in the entire region that is supplied water from downstream sources and a deputation led by the Panchayat Pradhan did apprise chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of the matter,â€ said Rakesh.
Sources revealed that the sewage treatment plant installed by the hotel is of insufficient capacity to treat the about 80 to 100 kiloliter of water used on a daily basis for operating the 78 super luxury rooms for which the going tariff is Rs 22,000 to Rs 61,500.
At times the plant is dysfunctional and at times excess sewage collection force clandestine flushing of the pollutants, said the source, who is a former employee but did not wish to be named.
Strom Mayson, executive assistant manager Hotel Wild Flower Hall when contacted offered â€œNo commentâ€ on the matter.
Counted among the best hotels in the world that regularly hosts congress president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Vadra whenever they visit Shimla, the management lays claims to it being a zero polluting property.