Shimla, June 22 (IANS) To strengthen water supply and sewage disposal and to prevent recurrence of water-borne diseases in Shimla town, the Himachal Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to create a water supply and sewerage circle, an official said.
The state cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, at its meeting here decided to create Greater Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Circle under the Shimla Municipal Corporation for supply of water and sewerage disposal.
A technical group, headed by the Chief Secretary, would monitor the scheme, the official said.
The circle will be an amalgamation of the existing structure available with the municipal corporation and the irrigation and public health department.
It will have two divisions — water production and sewerage treatment, and water distribution and sewerage network.
The health officer of the corporation would be in charge of the water quality monitoring and surveillance. The water testing labs would be transferred to the corporation from the government.
A memorandum of understanding would be signed between the state government and the corporation in this regard.
Official sources told IANS that more than 1,500 cases of jaundice, including among senior government officials, were reported in Shimla this year and 11 people died due to the disease.
Most of the jaundice cases have been reported from Chhota Shimla, Panthaghati, Vikas Nagar, New Shimla and Kasumpti, a health officer said.
In 2007, 2010 and 2013, a large number people in the city tested positive for Hepatitis E, a liver problem caused by consumption of water contaminated by sewage.
The cabinet also approved to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for implementation of Smart City Mission in Dharamsala.
The SPV would ensure operational independence and autonomy in decision making and mission implementation, said the official.