Hotel Wildflower Hall Booked For Illegally Discharging Affluents

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, “in 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,” he said.

“Water and soil samples have been taken and a case is being made out,” 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, “Despite several complaints, no action has been taken against the hotel that pollutes the entire Nallah.”

“Since April, every second or third night, sewage is being discharged in the open Nallah and it has made our life hell,” 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.

“Last 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,” 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 “No comment” 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.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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9 Comments

  1. says: Rajneesh Sharma

    Organise A Have Himachal Darshan Tour For All Officers Of Tourism Department & Pollution Control Board and just see there are small fresh water streams in Major tourism destinations converted into sewage canals filled with plastic bottles, plastic wrappers and all sorts of garbage..

    This is just the tip of iceberg for pollution norms and controls, we are decades behind standards of pollution control, don’t these officers ever look down from govt operated lift near Comber Mere hotel and have a look below the hell that can be seen..all drainage from Shimla…Sabzi Mandi..Mall Road is diverted from there…Is that Ganga Jal? Who is responsible for that..?

    No sewage treatment plants, no systematic developments, no urban planning..just keep passing buildings and new colonies , new housing schemes, new apartment schemes by private builders and make every corner a hell…and then come like an avatar to rectify the beyond control situations….

    Just like keep doing sins..all sorts of crimes and then take a dip in holy GANGA..to wash away sins..Lols..! Ganga ne pta nahi kaun sa paap kiya hai jo sabke paap dhoti rehti hai..Same is the story with HIMACHAl..known as DEV BHOOMI..but ever increasing pollution and construction reaching far flung areas..the Devtas too will fled and seek peaceful rescue somewhere else..and DEV Bhoomi will be ruined and may become DEVIL BHOOMI by insensitive people and sleeping administration and self styled hi-fi good for nothing politicians who just survive on news and political statements alone !

  2. says: Karan

    i dont think so, if public doesn’t take interest in this ……
    this issue will also go away like others related to big corporate houses..
    Govt. should act this time!!!!!

  3. says: Kartik

    I am really surprised and pleased with the action taken by the pollution board. Surprised because the pollution board finally heard the plea after a regular cry out by the villagers for the past few months and pleased because the action is against a “Big Fish” like Oberoi’s. I hope this matter doesn’t get away like the sewage is getting away right now!
    Peace!

  4. says: Manish shukla

    This is another incident of irresponsible behavior from people who should or could have set better example to outsiders. I am pleased to see officials stepping up but just like other issues, affluent folks have tried to bury this too. This hotel groupmust be questioned and directed to respect our env.

  5. says: Avnish

    No one is understanding the real issue!

    Himachal NGO sector is mostly dependent on Government grants.

    Whenever the try is made to build a strong public voice, either it dies down because of lack of funds or UNITY!

    Whether it is Cement industry or HYDRO, it is all government/private sector nexus.

    Chamba’s HUL episode (http://himachal.us/2010/02/14/5-injured-in-brutal-attack-in-chamba-valley-of-himachal/18553/news/ravinder) is one example of HYDRO GOONS.

    And this story is another of Big Names.

    Till the time Himachalis are not together and build a strong platform to air their voices and collectively fight these kind of issues there is no end to these episodes.

    I have had a family experience (http://himachal.us/2010/02/10/shame-on-himachal-government-machinery-rogi-kalyan-samitis-under-the-scanner/18418/news/rsood) of govt. sector/police getting bit proactive so would hope in this situation also govt. department acts.

    But I am wondering why the big newspapers did not carry this news?

    Why a small effort like this is so proactive and still not supported?

  6. says: Des Kashyap

    And we call our mother land queen of hills. Now this is a good example of negligence from the government side. I am sure this did not happen overnight. It must be going on for a long long time and no body really bothered to look into it coz mouths were probably shut with money. I am also sure there are others also into the same practice. It is only a matter of time who and when the whistle is blown? Hope this time some thing is done to stop this.

  7. says: Dharam

    Has anyone from Pollution Control Board actually measured the toxic residues in the effluents coming out of Wilflower Hall? I hope they have built a solid case againgt them and is not another political ploy to extract favors.Himachal Tourism used to have partnership in this venture and all the effluent estimates and construction must have got clearance from HP Pollution Control Board even before commissioning the unit.

    For that matter, the liquid efflutants and solid waste disposal systems from government institutions like IGMC and Ripon Hospital should also be put to similar pedastal of judgement! Both places are so poorly maintained and stinky that even a healthy soul feels sick while passing through their corridors!

  8. says: raman khanna

    Such insenstivity to local populace
    Is a very serious matter which must
    be acted upon with the focus it deserves

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