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Neri Panchayat of Shimla district becoming a living hell



A population of over 5000 suffers due to damaged road, lack of street lighting, and poor garbage management.
HP PWD disposes the complaint saying the road couldn’t be located in Shimla district.

While we walked on the road leading to Sangti, Panchayat Neri, from the lower Summerhill chawk, we captured some images depicting a real lethargic stereotype attitude on the part of both, the government and the public. The road is completely damaged and has not been metlled from years. HW walked through the road 2.5 km towards the girl hostel of the HP University and the whole length tortured us with pits filled with rainwater, muddy, slippery conditions. The shoes and the trousers were all painted with the proof of the quite an adventurous Journey. The major road that connects Sangti to the city is a nightmare even for vehicle owners, taxi drivers and transport buses in the absence of parapets and fences on the roadside.

Then there is no street lighting at all and accidently, if there is a streetlight, it doesn’t work. Now, imagine the road as a pitch-dark length, that the many local residents are forced to use.

In the name of garbage management, there was only a single garbage container to collect trash from thousands of homes. Hence, most of the garbage and other waste materials are disposed by throwing it in the open in the unavailability of garbage containers.

There is a rain shelter too, but it’s more like a garbage disposal alternative.

A local resident had submitted a complaint on E-Samadhan on 12/7/ 2011, a year ago. (Complaint No – PWD/2011895) requesting PWD to look into the matter, but PWD disposed off the complaint saying that they couldn’t locate the road in Shimla district. Further, in the words of the complainant: “The road also acts as a connecting road to other areas of Neri Panchayat besides serving the population of Sangti. The road is almost 60 years old and has been tarred only once, that too about 12 years back, but the present state doesn’t show any signs that it was ever metaled.

Even the Pradhan of the Neri Panchayat, Devender Thakur, doesn’t seem much interested in the matter. Criticizing the government, the system is one of the most frequent topics picked up by the people when they need something to gossip about. However, it’s a bitter truth that the public is equallyresponsible for the condition of their area. How many of the residents ever approached the concerned departments/person to make a complaint regarding the problems they are facing in their society?

If the government has not provided garbage containers, then does that mean the act of polluting the locality with irresponsible garbage disposal is justifiable on the part of the public? Instead of uniting for the good of the whole society, the public chooses to limit itself just to gossips, but no initiative. The signs of a healthy and aware public are altogether missing in our society and we are rather adapting instead of reacting to it. When the public doesn’t care about the problems in their locality, why the Panchayat Pradhan or the government would take the pain to solve it. The lack of awareness, inability to unite, and lethargic attitude of the public are the biggest advantages that encourage the corruption and the sick attitude among the responsible authorities.

HW Community is again forwarding the issue to HP PWD along with the images and proper location. If the HP PWD still couldn’t locate the road or feels, it isn’t their responsibility, then we request the department to clearly mention it in the reply to our complaint.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

Rs. 292 Crore Loan Agreement Signed with WB for Greater Shimla Water Supply & Sewerage Services



World Bank Loan for Greater Shimla Area Water Supply and Sewerage services

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government, Government of India and World Bank have signed Development Policy Loan – I ( DPL 1) amounting Rs. 292 Crores for the water supply and sewerage services in Greater Shimla Area in a meeting held at New Delhi today.

The total negotiated loan amount is Rs. 986 Crores

As per the official report, the components to be covered under Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Project include:

  • Construction of water supply system from Satluj and rehabilitation of Giri and Gumma pumping systems to supply 107 MLD at a cost of Rs 366 crore
  • Improvement in water distribution and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)  at a cost of Rs 270 crore,
  • Extension of sewage network at a cost of Rs 246 crore
  • Rehabilitation and a capacity addition of sewage treatment plants at a cost of Rs. 104 crore

These will ensure per capita supply of water to 135 LPCS (Litre per capita per day) besides round the clock supply universal coverage, the official sources claimed.

The State Government claims that this is the first Development Policy Loan in the water sector for institutional reform, volumetric tariff, water connections, energy efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Shimla’s water supply infrastructure with a capacity of 40 million litres daily (MLD) is unable to meet the current demand of 56 MLD. As elsewhere in urban India, around half the available water is lost to leakages and unauthorized siphoning. As a result, the water supply reaches citizens only once in two days and for limited hours. With at least 30-40% of the city’s population of around 200,000 not covered by the sewerage system, sanitation has also emerged as a public health issue in Shimla.

The State Government has, jointly with the Shimla Municipal Corporation, set up a dedicated utility which will take over WSS services for the city; these responsibilities were hitherto fragmented between different agencies and departments, leading to blurred accountability. This utility — the Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Ltd or SJPNL – will run the city’s WSS system. Policy decisions such as setting water tariffs and subsidies will be done by the State Government and the City Municipality.

The $40 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 4-year grace period and a maturity of 15.5 years.

This DPL will help SJPNL orient itself as a customer-focused utility that has the technical capacity, governance framework, and performance-based management policies needed to provide reliable water and efficient sanitation to the citizens of Shimla,

said Mr Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director

Prabodh Saxena Principal Secretary Urban Development signed the loan agreement and Program agreement on behalf of Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Sameer Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, GoI signed the legal and program agreement on behalf of Government of India.

 Bandana Preyasi, Director DEA was also present in the meeting. Sh. Junaid Director Ahmad, Country and Smt Smita Misra, Team Leader represented the World Bank in the meeting.

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HW Community

Video: New ISBT Shimla to Tutikandi Crossing road blocked after landslide



SHIMLA-After heavy rains in capital Shimla, a portion of road at the Tutikandi-Dhali bypass crossing, adjacent to under construction parking and shopping complex, went down with a landslide on Thursday at about 3 PM. No causalities were reported. Road between New ISBT Shimla to the point of landslide was closed for traffic. Long traffic-jam on Shimla-Chandigarh highway is troubling people. The administration was working to find a solution by creating an alternative deviation to resume the traffic. However, it’s not clear as to when the traffic will be resumed.

Watch Video:

Two videos show the moment it happened. While administration blames heavy rains, hailstorm and thunderstorms for the landslide, it is noticeable that excavation work for under-construction ropeway and parking-cum-shopping mall was underway for a long time now. The construction company seems to have failed to count such side-effects of digging and excavation in hilly region such as Shimla. Also, that the administration didn’t bother to monitor the site and spot such loopholes.

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Misc News/Press Release

Shimla city gets Rs 60 crore Parking Complex near Lift, Can accommodate 700 cars




SHIMLA- Struggling badly with traffic congest, Shimla City hopes to received some relief from parking trouble as the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today inaugurated first phase of multi-storey parking near lift constructed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It would have capacity of parking as many as 700 cars initially.  Govt. said that the Rs. 60 crore project will help to reduce idle parking and further facilitate the visitors.

The parking has been given on lease to M/s Shimla Tolls and Projects Private Limited for concession period of 30 years. The concession fee would be rupees one crore per annum with an increase of 10 percent every two years, to be paid to Municipal Corporation Shimla.

The construction work of other two phases of the parking is underway, which will probably accommodate more than 1700 cars, said PK Sood MD of M/s Shimla Tolls and Projects Private Limited.

Chief Minister also inspected the site of under construction Circuit House near All India Radio and gave necessary directions.

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