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Pending Complaints

MC Shimla at its best: No time, no funds for the public grievances

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Even after months of MC Shimla confirmed the allotment of funds, the private contractor did not appear and a grievance remains.

MC sticks to the ‘In Progress’ status on most of the grievances HW had raised asking the department to attend them immediately. HW reviewed the status on the complaints we had submitted to MC Shimla. What we realized is that a MC Shimla is a hard nut to crack. First, the department feels reluctant to reply to the complaints. Either, we need to keep giving them reminders or wait for a couple of months for a reply. If your complaint is heard and put under the status “In Progress”, then you should probably wait for the approval of funds etc , that takes, at minimum, 5-6 months. After that, the rainy season restrict the work for MC Shimla, so you wait for 2 more months. Guess, what’s next? MC Shimla would wait for the snowfall and hence the work gets postponed for another couple of months.

In some of the complaints, the budget is sanctioned; the contract is awarded to the contractors, mostly private. However, these contractors don’t appear for months. Then there are a few cases in which the work begins, laborers appears and the material for the maintenance of the footpaths and other small paths that interconnects the residential areas to the main roads of Shimla is delivered. Suddenly, the labor disappears, the maintenance work is left half done, and the materials, like tiles, concrete remains on the site to be wasted only.

These are not assumptions or a general point of view that an average citizen would hold about the MC Shimla or regarding most of the other government departments. Rather, every word written comes from the official interaction of HW with MC Shimla from the past half and a year. If you still doubt then go through the following cases:

Vikas Nagar, Shimla

HW had submitted a few complaints pertaining to the area under Vikas Nagar region. Some of them were submitted almost a year ago and MC had sanctioned the budget. One of these sites includes the road connecting Dev Nagar to main Shimla by-pass road, which we had published in April this year. (Click here to read the story).

The XEN(R&B), MC Shimla has intimated vide Dy. No. MCS/XEN/267/e-gov/2012-1000 dated 26-04-2012 that the estimate has been sanctioned and is under process. The work would be taken up in hand as per availability of budget. Hence the application may please be considered disposed off with regard to this department.

The complaint was disposed off saying that the MC lacks sufficient funds. We would again like to ask MC Shimla if now they have some funds or not? If you have, then please attend to the issue.

In an another complaint, HW wrote to MC Shimla regarding another location in the same area (Vikas Nagar), which was in dire need of maintenance. Fortunately, the complaint was considered and work begins during the month June and labor even had fixed some of the patch. We were glad that MC did sanction the funds to attend to the grievance. However, after a month, all the labor disappeared, and the maintenance work was left half done. Take a look at the video clip recorded at Vikas Nagar yesterday.

Now, why is it that the work was started and then left half done? Where did the funds sanctioned for the maintenance work go? We guess the local residents would be interested in these questions.

Boileauganj/Summerhill ( Click Here to read the complete story)

The height of the unpredictable behavior of MC Shimla can be exemplified with this case. HW submitted a couple of complaints including the accident, that caused due to the absence of the safety walls on the roadside. At the same time, the electricity board, on our complaint, had indentified the locations on the road that connects Boileauganj to Shive Mandir, Summerhill, which were in an immediate need of streetlights.

Copy of the response received from HPSEB
summer-hill-shiv-mandir-road6

Click On Image For Original View

The MC Shimla confirmed that the budget of Rs.8,90,000/- has been sanctioned for the placement of railings on the roadsides.However, it was just sanctioned and no actual work has been done so far at the location. Again, here, we would again like to inquire MC Shimla regarding the delay in the maintenance work.

accident-summerhill

Rajhana Panchayat (Click here to read the full story)

A 700 meters patch of the road leading to Biological Laboratories Rajhana from DAV School Sector-4 New Shimla remains in ruins. The people of Rajhana Panchayat, ignored for more than 3 years by the government even after their regular requests, found some relief when the MC Shimla responded to our complaint in the following words:

“The XEN (R&B), M.C. Shimla has intimated vide Dy. No. MCS/XEN/811/e-gov/2012-1872 dated 29-08-2012 that the M.C. Shimla has awarded the resurfacing work of said road to the contractor i.e. for the Road leading to Biological Laboratories Rajhana from DAV School Sector-4 New Shimla from RD 0/850 to 1/080 in ward No. 23 upto M.C. boundary. The work will be taken in hand after rainy season. Hence the Grievance may be considered disposed off with regard to this department.”

dav-sec-4-new-shimla

It confirmed that the contract has been awarded for the same to a private contractor in the month of August and the work will begin as soon as the rainy season passes. It’s been almost 2 months that the rainy season has ended, but the private contractor hasn’t moved a muscle yet. When we again reminded MC Shimla regarding the delay on the part of contractor, it didn’t bother to answer. We guess, now MC Shimla and the contractors are waiting for the snowfall.

We again submitting an reminder to MC Shimla regarding the pending complaints and would like to share their justification for all this delay and lethargic behavior with our readers and the public. But, that’s possible only when the MC Shimla would bother to reply and that is no less than being the luckiest complainer, If the Municipal Corporation of Shimla doesn’t have funds to look after the maintenance of public infrastructure, then for whom does they have it.

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 7 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 world around him in his DSLR lens.

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HPSEB’s Payment Kiosk requires an operator, still doesn’t work

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HPSEB-Payment-Kiosk-Machin-fail

HPSEB-Payment-Kiosk-Machine

Consumers suffer due to faulty cash acceptor, which hasn’t been replaced by the HPSEB for years even after complaints from operators.

Adjacent to the MC Shimla building, there is a cabin that contains the HPSEB Payment Kiosk, which accepts cash as the payment to the consumer electricity bills. The idea is to save men power and free the consumer from the queues in front of the payment counters.
However, HPSEB’s payment kiosk at Shimla Mall hasn’t received any maintenance after it was installed years ago. This payment kiosk has rather turned into a frustrating machine for majority of the consumers who approach it for the first time. 8 times out of 10, the machine pukes out the currency notes irrespective of the fact there is no fault with the note. Moreover, it’s highly idiotic if we need an operator at a kiosk too. What’s the difference between a manual counter and kiosk if both of them requires a man to operate it. The man employed at HPSEB’s kiosk, for sure, would do a faster job manually.

Along with wasting time a lot of time, mostly the cash acceptor accepts only a partial amount of total billing amount. The remaining amounts adds to bill of the next consecutive month Even operators are helpless in dealing with the issue.
Have a look at the video HW had recorded on 4 Febuary 2013 and try to hearing conversation between the consumers and the operator.

Another video recorded earlier on 21 November 2012

HW would like to bring to the attention of HPSEB to work hard on their implementation of technologies. A technology evolves with each passing day. Every technology needs to be updated regularly. That’s the secret of making a technology work exactly as you want it to and ignoring it is the reason HPSEB is doing worse in adopting the technologies. The government doesn’t seems to be able to hire literate enough technical employees who could keep it updated on the technologies. Your online bill payment service also discouraged the main motive of the it and discouraged online payment instead of promoting it. You are killing trees with your metal stay-wires and metal rods everywhere in Shimla. It’s really unfortunate to have such a ignorant government department.

Please, attend to your bill payment kiosk as soon as possible. It’ll help saving time and energy of both, you men and the consumers.

However, the hopes are very low and as usual, we might need to write to HPSEB at least 8-10 times before it even pays some concern to it. But, still, HW would do that until it’s attended by HPSEB.

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Pending Complaints

An accident causes a half an hour-long traffic jam at Talland

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accident-tolland-khalini

The incomplete footpath causes trouble for the bus drivers and the public, HPPWD says the government hasn’t approved the budget yet.

This morning, a private mini bus and a HRTC bus collided near Talland. Fortunately, the impact was very low and there were no casualties. However, the accident resulted in a one and half hour-long traffic jam as two drivers of the buses were arguing over the fault. The day for the people, struck in a jam (9:30 to 10 AM), begin with a frustrating note. Many office going employees, students and a great number of other people faced a troubles. Even the traffic policemen, who were present at the stoppage, appeared to be helpless breaking the jam.

The drivers of the two buses quarreled like street dogs, using vulgar language in the public. That’s the trade mark of majority of the drivers in India. Have a look at the Video below:

The driver of Sween Travels appears to be at the fault. However, the driver argued and said, “ What should I do? There are always people, who walk by the roadside, and that leaves no choice but to steer the bus a bit towards the wrong side”.

Have a look at the image

tolland-bus-accident

The argument given by the driver seems to be justified if we observe that there is a footpath alongside the road, which has been constructed to avoid congestion on the road. However, the public is unable to use it as it was left uncompleted and therefore, they don’t have an option, but to use the main road

The argument given by the driver seems to be justified if we observe that there is a footpath alongside the road, which has been constructed to avoid congestion on the road. However, the public is unable to use it as it was left uncompleted and therefore, they don’t have an option, but to use the main road
If you remember, then a few months ago, HW had submitted a complaint regarding the proper construction and maintenance of footpaths at various locations in Shimla. Talland was one of those spots. HW had submitted the complaint on 20 of June this year. To which the HPPWD replied:

In this regard it is intimate that footpath from Vidhan Sabha to lift is in very much running condition and from time to time this department is doing necessary repair whenever there is any pol holes etc.however te special repair of the same is needed with in a period of 2years as the footpath has been constructed many years ago.The estimate for the repair of footpath has been prepared and has been sent vide this office letter No AE-1/Estimate /2012-635 dated 4/7/20-12 .The work will be taken in hand after the approval of complent authority.

It’s been almost 6 months, but the estimate has not received the approval from Government. The construction plan for the DLF Luxury Villas on the forest land can get approval in a day, but a necessary public infrastructure can wait for years. May be, the HPPWD and the government is waiting for some greater mishap.

If you have been traveling towards Vikasnagar, then it won’t be hard for you to recall that the footpath is actually incomplete and people do use the main road. Apparently, we would blame the responsible government department as the root cause that lead to a great headache this morning. The HPPWD should mind it that hundreds of people suffered due to their carelessness.

Along with the drivers, the public must understand and consider their responsibility while using the roadside. A driver incapable of judging factors such as the space available around him is a poor driver.

The copy of the same has been forwarded to the HPPWD along with the images and video

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Pending Complaints

The public suffers as HPPWD continues to ignore the grievances

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Show jugaad-by-pwd-department-solan
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.

shimla-by-pass

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.

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