Summerhill roads in ruins, while Shimla MC busy raising statue
SHIMLA– Shimla is as unfortunate to have bad examples of stereotype, short sighted politicians and the public representatives at every level as the rest of the nation is. From top to bottom, our system is full of public representatives who lack real connectivity with the public and their focus is set mainly on party promotions and advertisements through their copyright symbols. Different parties have secured copyrights for Indian saints, freedom fighters, slogan etc. Advertising these symbols is the first priority for every party. The teaching of the saints and the sacrifices of the freedom fighters deserve true honor, and building statues isn’t the only way. Lack of vision and compassion is missing from politics at the root levels along with hierarchy of Indian government. Here is an example of a ward councilor and the Municipal Corporation of Shimla.
Lower Summer hill to Boileauganj
University students and residents, who travel from or to Summerhill, Sangti, and a few other panchayats, are quite acquainted with condition of the roads. Perhaps, both the upper and lower Summerhill roads are the worst torturous experience in the Urban Shimla. Their condition is getting worse with each day since past couple of years. During this period, HW wrote multiple times to Shimla MC and the Summerhill councilor regarding this grievance.HW clicked photographs and recorded video clips so that the issue could get their immediate attention. They were submitted officially to Shimla MC mentioning the grievance.
Boileauganj to HP University
However, the roads didn’t receive much except a half-hearted patching work. Then, a ray of hope appeared when we saw heaps of material alongside the road. We were certain that the councilor did get it done finally until we witnessed most of that material washing away with rains and scattered by running tires. It was a complete waste of the public money. You could see a couple of similar heaps of repair-material on roadsides, but no labor. However, the labor, without any delay, is working at Summerhill Chowk to establish the statue.
Surprisingly, a few months later, a news in an Hindi daily appears with praising words and a very impressive picture of the honorable councilor of the Summerhill ward for she had, at a MC house meeting, spent a whole day fighting for re-naming the Summerhill Chowk and to place a statue there. The labor restlessly started to cut the hill to make space for the statue. It was indeed a very quick action on the part of the respected councilor and Shimla MC.
HW inquired regarding the amount of budget allotted for the task and the source which granted the funds. It’s no surprise that Shimla MC didn’t respond even after a week of official inquiry. When HW inquired Deputy Mayor, Tikendar Panwar, we were told that the Chowk is being widened along with making platform for the statue.
Definitely, today we felt like we were some idiots who were expecting public welfare from these political worms. Shimla MC fell short of funds for the maintenance of basic public needs and public properties like roads or rain-shelters. For the past many years, the roads towards Summerhill haven’t received even decent patches to cover the major spots with greater damage and huge pits, but the work for the statue is in progress.
The councilor could get money sanctioned for a statue, but ignored the apparent need of actual development. The roads are in ruins and street lights are rarely working on these roads. We aren’t able to understand how a statue topped the priority list of the Councilor and Shimla MC when the basic needs require their attention. How would a statue facilitate or help the public in any way? No matter what, but the councilor and the Shimla MC is proud of their achievement.
Now, correct us if we are wrong in saying that with a display of such a vision and sense of public welfare, public representatives at ward levels make an idol example of a malfunctioning democracy at the ground levels. We guess, politics is the wrong arena for such a statue lover, because right now, people are crying for the maintenance of the roads, not the statues.