Debris dumping damages Navbahar water source

Shimla: Natural water source at Navbahar, serving a locality of over 800 residents, is threatened of drying out, thanks to the indifferent attitude of both the Shimla Municipal Corporation and the forest department.

Besides damaging the water source, the illegal dumping of debris in the Bhumia area of Navbahar is also threatening the survival of the dense forest vegetation in the thickly forested part of the city.

Debris run riot
Photo by Preneeta Sharma

When corporation officials were quizzed, they responded that thirteen sites, which included the Navbahar site, had been indentified for dumping of debris in and around Shimla. However, the authorities were aware that debris dumping was causing drying up of the natural water source in the area.

Subhash, an old time shopkeeper from the locality, “Earlier there used to illegal dumping of debris in the place and no one bothered to check it timely. But the day, Navbahar was included as dumping site, large amount of muck dumping is not only threatening survival of the natural vegetation in the area but is also killing the natural water source that serve a lot us out here”.

A government water scheme sources its water from here to feed a locality of nearly 800 people living lower down in the hill in Navbahar. The scheme is maintained by the community for whom the scheme has been laid out.

Subash adds that with the muck spilling on the motorable road, it was also proving a major obstacle for walkers and vehicles that drove on the byline road to Navbahar road.

Kunti Devi, another resident of the colony laments, “Muck dumping has scarred the natural beauty of the area and nobody is bothered about the damage to ecology being caused.

At one end the government advocates preservation of ecology and natural water sources, on the other hand they are only adding to destroying available natural habitats.

However, Inder Kumar Sharma, a forest official with the municipality said that the area was only declared a muck dumping site area after the natural water resource had completely dried out.

On being told that the water source was still being used by people, he said that steps would be taken to channelize it.”

Amarjeet Singh, municipal commissioner denied that any complaint had been received about the water resource drying up.

He said “We had not received any complain regarding the dryness of natural water resource due to dumping of the debris.” Steps will be taken to properly channelize the source and to save the surrounding forests, said Singh.

Preneeta Sharma, a budding journalist with a strong flair for picking out the unusual from the usual. Preneeta lives in Shimla and is a contributor reporter with Hill Post.

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