Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court, which took suo motu cognizance of supply of contaminated water in the state capital, on Tuesday directed the government to file a status report in this regard within two days.
The chief secretary, the principal secretary (irrigation and public health), the principal secretary (health) and the municipal commissioner were present in the court on the direction of the court.
However, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan exempted them from personal appearance for the time being.
Taking serious note of supply of contaminated water in the 'Queen of Hills', as Shimla is popularly called, the high court on Monday issued notice to the state.
The bench treated media reports regarding supply of contaminated water as a public interest litigation.
It was reported in the media that Ashwani Khud, which supplies water to one-third of Shimla's population, is highly contaminated.
It said sewage mixed with the drinking water was being supplied to the residents, which has created an epidemic-like situation in the town.
During the hearing, it was observed by the court that drinking water is one of the basic necessities for the people.
"Because of the apathy on the part of the authorities concerned, the people of Shimla town do not have access to clean drinking water and are falling prey to many waterborne diseases," observed the court.
Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, Shimla is home to 170,000 people as per the 2011 census and generates 30.09 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage. (IANS)