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So, is this how Shimla Ward Councilors fix the garbage?



summerhill ward councillor garbage disposal

Shimla MC and Ward Councillors burn the garbage to fix it.It’s a part of elementary education that pollution is bad for the environment. But, the ward councilors in Shimla seem to have either forgotten the basics or they lack elementary education.

A day after a reader anonymously posted photos of garbage heaps around Summerhill ward councilor’s office at Boileauganj, the garbage was fixed in a very ironic way on the very next day(or maybe the same night).
It was burnt on the spot. But, the most unfortunate, humiliating, and embarrassing fact is that locality has elected people who doesn’t even know that garbage, especially the plastic, must not be burnt as it’s highly polluting and toxic. It’s taught in primary schools as a part of the elementary education that pollution is bad for the environment. But, with such an action on a complaint, the ward councilors in Shimla seem to have either forgotten the basics or they lack elementary education.

The extremity of ignorance on the part of a ward Councillor drew agressive comments on HW’s FB page too. We don’t know who did it, the Boileauganj ward Councillor or the that of Summerhill. Take a look at the new pictures that HW itself clicked on Friday. The garbage, which also included plastic bottles and wrappers, wasn’t removed.

View Before and After Photos

Secondly, even the garbage is half -burnt. The remains weren’t removed either. What kind of joke is this? Even when their attention was brought to it by the public itself, still they mock at their own empathetical, ignorant mistakes.

It’s not just about a single councilor and only about the wast disposal. The roads are in a very poor condition. The Summerhill roads are in ruins for past few years. There is no action on behalf of Shimla MC or the ward councilor on the repeated complaints.

Poor Condition of Lower Summer hill to Boileauganj Road

Boileauganj to HP University

Most of them have forgotten about their duties very soon after they were elected. They behave like political puppets moving under the commands of their bosses. Waste management is a critical issue for a city like Shimla. The queen of hills needs to be preserved and prevented from transforming into an ugly scene. It’s a request to the public and the ward councilors, please, do pay attention to the way your locality dispose of the garbage. It’s just one of your duties.

But, we don’t see even the slightest hint of willingness to serve the society, help the public, and make the ward a better place? We don’t understand what kind of attitude is that and why these councilors chose to fight the elections when they did not have any such desire or ambition. The pubic representatives shouldn’t be just bodies with names. They should be seen as perspectives which the public elects for the efficient management of their communities.

The public must contemplate on the fact that the success of a democracy is directly proportional to the attitude of its voters. Our representatives are mere the reflection of our own attitudes. They are the living evil empowered by all of us. We gave them the positions and the permissions to loot our share of resources and wealth. The real error isn’t the bad politicians or the evil representatives in an otherwise self-sufficient country. The error is the attitude of voters. All it takes is a little courage to leave the political groups and stand like a neutral citizen who seeks a permanent cure for the rotting democracy.

As a cruel sarcastic truth, the people in India enchant the sources of the real cause of their own miseries, their political patrons, they dance in their processions, and they sympathize, and preach their name. There is a very strong illusion that surrounds them; there is something that blinds them to the world beyond this intricately woven web of political mess.

The biggest aid behind the making of this illusion is India’s mainstream media, which is called the fourth pillar of the Indian democracy. We mourn the day this powerful weapon of defense for a democracy also joined hands with the rest of the pillars to enjoy the pleasures of corruption and the freedom to justify its own corruption. Media is like a painful strike of lash on the culprits when accompanied with the values of truth and justice. It’s another bitter truth that the public is responsible for the corruption of media. Because, the media is also the reflection of their audience. Media serves more of what the audience seek most.

Any way, we were talking about the charismatic councilor of Summrhill Ward in Shimla city, who seems to have responded to the photos submitted by a reader on HW’s UrNews section. This section is completely dedicated to publish reader submissions. Anyone can submit photos (maximum 5) with a textual description in their own words (maximum 250). Anyone can post in UrNews without any kind of registration or ‘Sign In’ with FB or e-mail id. However, there is a strict moderation before any submission is approved the section. The submission are visible to all and the readers can vote and comment in favor or against for any post. Make use of this opportunity if you wish to contribute and highlight some issue in any region of Himachal.

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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Road in Mashobra Ward of SMC in tatters for last 10 years




Shimla: While the new Government of Himachal Pradesh claims that it has achieved all the targets it had set for the first 100 days, the ground reality doesn’t agree with it entirely.

As per the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Rs. 100 crores were sanctioned for repair and maintenance of roads, however, even the urban Shimla did not witness these repairs.

Some residents of Mashobra – Lower Dhalli Ward (Number 21) of the Shimla Municipal Corporation wrote to Himachal Watcher regarding the pathetic condition of the road in their locality algonwith pictures of the Mashobra market.  

The road has not been repaired from last 10 years. The problem of water-logging pertains from past 5 years, but the civic body did not attend to it, 

said one of the residents.

Bhartiya Janata Party’s Shalinder Chauhan has been elected for the second time as counsellor of the Ward. However, he made only promises to solve this problem, which were never fulfilled,

the resident further added.

Mashobra market

This road leads to famous tourist destinations like Talai, Carignano Nature Park along with government offices like the Regional Horticultural Research Station, Mashobra, and HP Panchayati Raj Training Institute.

Despite the frequent movement of government officials in this Ward, the road did not attract the attention of any single of them.

Several Ministers cross this road and, a few days back, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had organized a national level annual meeting near Talai, but the problem remains invisible to everyone except the locals,

a local youth told HW.

The pedestrians face daily trouble due to the large potholes, which turn into pools of water when it rains. Passing vehicles splash accumulated water on pedestrians. During sunny days, clouds of dust troubles the residents as well as shopkeepers and dhabs located in the market, the residents complained.   

The locals are forced to live in dust and mud for last 10 years, but the problems of the locals did not find a place in media, they further complained.

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Busted: Hindi Daily exaggerated news about delay in handing over dead bodies of Nurpur accident victims




Tribute to Nurpur school bus accident

Kangra: “If it is published in a newspaper, then the news must be true,” most of the common readers believe.

Unfortunately, journalists do not deserve a blind faith of the people in a country like India where media houses are propelled by profits instead of motives. Journalists often exaggerate and sensationalize reports deliberately, which brings a bad name to the fraternity of journalists.

The most recent reference could be made to a news published by a Hindi Daily regarding the alleged politics over the dead bodies of 23 children who died in the tragic accident of a school bus on April 9, 2018, near Nurpur of Kangra district.

Nurpur School bus accident

Outside Nurpur Hospital on April 10

The Hindi Daily, in  a report published in its April 11 edition, had alleged the district administration of making unnecessary delay in handing over the dead bodies of the victims to their families. The motive, the report alleged, was that the Chief Minister could pay tribute to the bodies as part of a political stunt.

The report went on saying that the bodies of some of the victims, which were already handed over to the families on April 9, were also brought back. The parents kept asking for the bodies while the district administration and a local MLA told them to wait for the arrival of the Chief Minister, the Daily had reported.

It sounds like the cheapest of political stunts. Doesn’t it?

The Chief Minister and the Deputy Commissioner of Kangra, Sandeep Sharma, faced severe criticism after the news was published by the Daily.

pyres of nurpur school bus accident

Pyres of the victims

However, not all the information fed by the reporter of the Daily was factually correct.

Himachal Watcher’s credible friends in media, who were present at the hospital, revealed that there might have been some delay but no dead body was brought back.  The Daily blew the news out of proportion,  we were told.

I was right there outside the mortuary with other reporters and correspondents of news agencies to cover the story. No body was handed over to any of the families on April 9, so there is no question of bringing them back,

a journalist told Himachal Watcher.

Most of the reporters had left the hospital by 10:00 PM, but we stayed there for a while. The gates of the mortuary were locked at about 12:00 PM and no one was allowed to enter thereafter. Therefore, it was a sheer lie, 

the journalist said. 

We also consulted other journalists, who agreed that the news was indeed blown out of proportion.

Such irresponsible and sensational reporting defames the media fraternity, especially the responsible journalists, 

said one of the media persons expressing disappointment with the reporter of the Daily.

The Daily is trying to cover up the matter but the inconsistency in the facts in its follow-up stories is clearly visible.  

The DC, Kangra, on April 12 had issued a press statement terming the news as a misleading one, which turned out to be true. 

The news not only defamed the Chief Minister but also shook the little faith that common men still have in the government and local administration. The newspaper cutting of the Daily did rounds of social media and attracted the wrath of the people.

The message is clear; there is no space for blind trust on media. We need to be careful while going through such sensitive news.

I have just one request to those people who started to share the news clipping on social media. First, try to cross check the facts before opening critical attack on such sensitive matters. It is not about defaming the government but of humanity,

a journalist associated with an English Daily said.   

It was a total breach of trust of the readers as well as those who came across it on social media. 

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CM Thakur, BJP ridiculed for alleged politics of ‘paying tribute’ to Nurpur accident victims




Politics over Nurpur school bus accident

Kangra: The new Government of Himachal Pradesh and the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur were ridiculed for allegedly playing “politics of paying tribute” over the dead bodies of 23 children killed in the school bus accident near Nurpur in Kangra on April 9, 2018.

The Chief Minister also faced the wrath of the public on social media. The people termed it as the “most degraded level” of politics that the nation has ever witnessed.

This widespread criticism compelled the Deputy Commissioner of Kangra, Sandeep Kumar and the local MLA Rakesh Pathania to come out in their defence. The DC on April 12 released a media statement in which he refuted the allegations labelled against them regarding the deliberate delay in handing over the dead bodies deceased children

The DC termed it as an act of irresponsible reporting. The local MLA Rakesh Pathania also came out with an explanation and said that it was decided to transport all the bodies together to avoid inconvenience due to crowdedness.

However, the Daily, in its April 13 edition, has produced a statement of an aggrieved family member and stood by its report.

politics over Nurpur school bus tragedy

Report from Dainik Bhaskar’s April 13 Edition

As per the daily, Gulshan, a resident of Chamba, alleged that everytime the parents asked for the body, they were told to wait for the Chief Minister’s arrival.

Meanwhile, a video of Gulshan repeating his statement has also appeared on the social media. 

It is an illogical explanation of the administration that the parents of the children were not available early morning, the Daily said. All the parents had rushed to the hospital on the evening the accident took place. They waited till morning at the hospital, added the report.

In its April 11 edition, the Daily had alleged the district administration and Pathania of keeping the parents of the victims waiting for about three hours to claim the bodies.

It was further alleged by the Daily that the bodies which already handed over to the parents were also brought back so that the Chief Minister and the Union Minister JP Nadda could perform a political drama of paying tribute to the victims.

A stage was set and mike was installed for the Chief Minister, the report alleged.

As per the report, the post-mortems of the victims including four adults were completed between 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM on April 10. However, the parents were told that the Chief Minister will be arriving to distribute the cheques of the relief money, alleged the report.

When the Union Minister Nadda was asked about the incident, he denied having any knowledge regarding the delay. He said the local administration and the MLA were responsible for all the arrangement.

While the mourning parents had lined up outside the mortuary to claim the bodies, they were made to wait until the Chief Minister and Union Minister arrived at 10:30.

The daily also alleged that the DC, Kangra, and local MLA Rakes Pathania were seen directing the staff regarding Chief Minister’s reception. While there were only two nurses to look after four survived children during the previous night, all the staff along with the district administration swarmed upon next morning to receive the Chief Minister.

However, on April 12, the DC issued a press statement terming the news as false and misleading one. He said an elaborate inquiry was conducted and it was found that no delay was made deliberately. He claimed that the post-mortems were completed at 10:30 AM, and not at 7:30 AM, as alleged by the Daily.

Opposed to the allegation, the DC further claimed that no post-mortem was conducted on April 9. He said as per the rules a post-mortem should be conducted in daylight, therefore, it was not possible to hand over the bodies to the parents on April 9.

The post-mortems were conducted in the morning only in the presence of the parents and they were not available on the evening the accident took place, the DC claimed.

However, the DC did not say anything regarding legal action against the Daily for publishing such defamatory news. 

If the report was, in fact, misleading, then we will be soon reading an apology published in the same Daily or a legal action by the administration. If none of the two situations appears, then it would suggest the ugly allegations made in the report were true.  

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