New Shimla – Is this what they claim best in the town?
SHIMLA-– Dear readers,members, our respected Shimla MC, HPPWD and the CM, today, HW will take you for a ride on the New Shimla road. Everyone including the public itself claim, that the New Shimla is one of the best posh areas to live in Shimla or its properly planned like Chandigarh city. Probably, those who haven’t been to New Shimla for a while, this usual rumor might lead you to create an image of a cool ride on the smooth, dark metalled road with all those white strips in the middle and at the ‘Chowks’, running parallel to the pleasantly green rows of trees planted on the roadside.
Was it too much? We guess, its real tough task for the locals to dare hope for that much. Sadly, the New Shimla road is also in poor condition, whole length covered with huge ditches, and dust all around. The garbage disposal appears to be a bit improved, but the construction waste usually end up anywhere down the hill.
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The drainage is mostly obstructed, and towards the end of the road some patches are completely in ruins. Adjoining to the road are built most of the houses, and everyday, the public is tolerating dust storm rising from the rubble. Most of it settles on the gates, doors, windows, or anything left our in open. People are forced to keep their window closed. Park your car for 10-20 minutes anywhere in New Shimla, and you’ll get a better idea of what exactly we are talking about.
Despite being a posh area, the public is ignorant to tree abuse. The cable wires and even the iron fencing around the trees are penetrating them.
The condition of the road worsens as you go down further towards the lower region. The Govt., the mayor, the ward councilors, all are asleep like always. We don’t understand the role of these public representatives when they can’t even ensure the maintenance of public facilities.
The people here doesn’t appear to have realized that it doesn’t have any standard scale on which they could assess it, and if we can’t assess it, then we don’t know what a responsible public should expect from its Government. In some rare cases, if a few lost souls happen to actually wish for the betterment, then it’ll be rarest of the rare case if he/she bothers to demand it with a complaint. Anyway, what’s the use of making complaints when no Govt. Department or the Govt. itself attends it? In case, you approach a Govt. official with a complaint, especially if it’s a public grievance, then they will make you sweat until you give up expecting an action from them. Also, nobody will pay under the table for a public grievance, which, otherwise, is possible if the complaint or request happens to be personal. Moreover, if you think you can argue with the Govt. departments, then, let us inform you that they have an encyclopedia of excuses for not acting on a public complaint.
A year ago, when HW asked HPPWD why they weren’t attending a pubic grievance regarding the poor condition of Summerhill –Sangti road, the department replied that they could not locate Sangti in Shimla. HW had to send them a Google map screen shot. It took time, but we did get it metalled eventually. Among the top most excuses are the bad weather conditions and the lack of funds, which these departments of an incompetent Govt. will give you to avoid attending public grievances. There are always exceptions, and there are Government employees who have a great sense of duty towards their positions, the office they hold. ‘”Everyone is corrupt” or “with honest values we can’t survive in this country”, these are the consolations of insolent goons to justify their own corruption.
To all the worthless corrupt politicians, Govt. employees and to every corrupt individual, we have a few lines from Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus: “Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.” (It is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in misery”)
The release of funds is instant if it’s associated with the personal facility of the officials, VVIPs or the MLAs. It didn’t take even 10 minutes for our CM, Mr. Virbhadra Singh, to pass the bill meant to give fat salary hike to MLAs. There was no debate or discussion, no paper spray or striping from any side because it gave them 60 % salary hike and other allowances.What they stated in the bill to justify the hike said,
“Due to sharp increase in cost of living and considerable expenses incurred by legislators as public representatives, there has been persistent demand for the revision of existing emoluments and amenities, and Vidhan Sabha members’ Amenities Committee has also recommended enhancing of salary, allowances and other perquisites of the Members of HP Legislative Assembly.”
The Govt.will always tell people that we live in a poor state of a poor nation. That’s the trick. It works. How come a country be poor where the national election expenditure in 2014 is estimated to be more than that of America. The Reuters states in an article,
“Indian politicians are expected to spend around $5 billion(300400000000.00 Indian Rupee) on campaigning for elections next month – a sum second only to the most expensive U.S. presidential campaign of all time – in a splurge that could give India’s floundering economy a temporary boost. India’s campaign spend, which can include cash stuffed in envelopes as well as multi-million-dollar ad campaigns, has been estimated at 300 billion rupees ($4.9 billion) by the Centre for Media Studies, which tracks spending.”
Now, when it comes to their benefit, these MLAs and the CM label themselves as concerned public representatives, but they treat the public like slaves. There is a famine in the state treasury when its about spending on public facilities and grievances.But, the funds are always instantly available for adding cars to existing fleet of his own, and that of his MLAs, maintenance of their flats, expenditure on choppers etc. Of course, they didn’t seek feedback from public before they gave them huge credits and fat salary hikes,because the public either doesn’t mind or doesn’t know whether their chosen representatives actually deserved it or not.
The trouble is that the public is afraid of its own Government, which they had elected themselves through democratic voting. They don’t take much interest in keeping their representatives answerable and responsible.
It’s time now. Learn to expect and demand facilities and all that we deserve as respectable citizens, and to retaliate if any genuine demand is ignored. Remind your representatives of the promises they had made to you before the elections.