The public suffers as HPPWD continues to ignore the grievances
Almost one and half years passed, but even after the regular complaints and reminders, HPPWD didn’t attend the issue of roadside safety measures and rain shelters asking for maintenance.
The polling for the assembly elections completed successfully and in a peaceful manner. Now the long suspense would make a great material for the media. However, HW would like to get back to the public grievances. Let’s start with the missing safety walls, railing and parapets on Shimla bypass road(NH 22).
According to the information available on the official website of HPPWD, as on 31.03.2012, the number of total roads in Shimla is 5103 Out of these, 2370 are metalled and 2733 remains unmetalled. That means more than 50% of the roads in Shimla are still not matelled. Not only the metalling, but also the maintenance of safety measures, like parapets and railings, on the roadsides in Shimla has been mostly ignored.
Have a look at the gallery of Images depicting the condition of safety walls or parapets in Shimla bypass on NH 22. We will soon provide the images of NH 88 that is in no better condition.
No consideration was paid to our initial complaints and demand to provide safety measures, at least, on some of the very sharp curves on Shimla bypass. After the death of some people in road accidents on Shimla bypass road, HPPWD half heartedly provided iron railings on a couple of curves. Surprisingly, at one of these locations, only half of the curve was covered with iron railings and rest of it was provided with super strong parapets built from concrete debris and loose stones pilled one over other.
How these leaps of concrete pieces are suppose to prevent a car rolling down the road? From where did the HPWD get such a great idea? Is there some sort of cost cutting in the budget? It’s so unfortunate that the National Highway Wing of HPWD is taking the issue very lightly even after the frequent accidents on the bypass road. It sounds like HPWD is mocking at our complaints intentionally. Of course, the public has given them the liberty to ignore the duties for which HPPWD is responsible.
Pitiable Condition of the rain shelters in Shimla
Not only the safety walls on the NH 22, but also the rain shelters in Shimla, only one of which was fixed after the complaint, haven’t been maintained properly. On 7th of July this year, HW wrote to HPWD to remind them of the complaint we had submitted a year ago. Today, after 5 months of that reminder, we again stands where we were 1½ years ago. A few chairs were replaced at the rain shelter at Talland bus stop and rest of them still stand in a pitiable condition. One of the two, the present state government or HPWD, is obviously on fault and we believe none of them would admit it unless some legal authority questions them. Moreover, until December 20, the present government is more likely not to move a muscle. They are done with the polling and now the public hardly matters. This is a sarcastic truth that everyone of us is familiar with.
Here is the gallery of the images depicting the condition of the rain shelters in Shimla at various bus stops.
It won’t be difficult to imagine the condition in rest of the parts of a state where even the capital city is not being attended properly. There are either no parapets, railings or if there are then they are in a very poor condition. Even the public hardly observes how much scope is there for scandals and scams in the allotment of funds in such cases. If you remember, the BJP government had blamed the UPA government for treating the state under their rule like a stepmother. As a reply to this allegation, during a rally in the Mandi district last Monday, the Congress President Sonia Gandhi had slammed the present state government lead by Prem Kumar Dhumal for failing to utilize a sum of Rs. 10,000 crore allotted to the State under Centrally-sponsored schemes.
HW is feeling embarrassed after observing that our complaints, which contains public grievances, don’t make much difference to HPPWD. However, we won’t surrender to the epic lethargic government departments and would pass on to the next level if the fist didn’t work. Hope our readers and members would support us in the cause.