Wrecked Sankat Mochan – Badhai village road unattended for years
SHIMLA- While majority of our readers appreciates that we highlight public grievances very bluntly, some of them question why we don’t throw light on achievements of a Govt. department. We have a very simple and honest answer for it; the public reach us with grievances only, so we highlight them and write to the respective departments and keep them reminding through regular follow up. The day, public would start sending positive feedback for any Govt. department, we would be very happy to publish that as well.
For now, we have another public grievance regarding a very usual issue – roads in wrecked conditions. This time it’s the road which connects Sankatmochan, Bhadhai, Tutikandi and Shilgaon in Shimla.
This road is a vital one for some other villages connected to New ISBT through this road. These villages include Kayri, Chamrog, Baag, Rirkagaon to New ISBT.
The condition of the road near Badhai village is the poorest in condition. This road is in a need of tarring, but no one showed up any concern for years. The rubble and debris from the landslides during last rains are lying where they were. The HPPWD didn’t show up even after months of roadside. This rubble has blocked a portion of the road.
According to this resident, the road is being tarred at a couple of spots in the middle part, which doesn’t provide any relief to people at all. As far as he remembers, it’s been a decade that he had seen any maintenance work here.
The retaining walls are ready to come down anytime. A lot of trouble could be averted and handled carefully before it causes any urgent headache to anyone, but Govt. Departments are least concerned about it.
The roads in Shimla have never been the way Govt. had promised before elections. One of the example of Govt.’s false promises would be Rohru to Kothkhai road, which Virbhadra Singh had promised to the public with an assurance that road would be completed in 100-days. After the first contractor failed to deliver the road, it was allotted to another contractor but there isn’t any relief to the public yet.
The roads in Shimla City received tarring work, but couldn’t stand even 3-4 months. The contractor and the Govt. seem to have a deal to share the benefit they’ll save on roads by using poorest quality material to tar the roads.
People are dying in bus accidents due to the lack of appropriate roads, trained drivers, and missing safety measures, but the Govt. is acting like a tyrant body, run by insensitive politicians and greedy public representatives at lower levels of our democracy. It’s not a big deal. Such tenders for road construction and maintenance offer, perhaps, the biggest opportunities to divert granted money into private pockets of contractors, bureaucrats and the Govt. itself.
Recently, we have been to Ward No.10 of Shimla, Ramnagar. One of the residents had written to us regarding a patch of 450 meters long road that connects the area to the Shimla bypass. We were surprised how much corruption and political and personal influence surrounded this little 450 meter patch. That means a length of 1KM could make people ‘lakhpatis’. Now, imagine how much money this joint front of corrupt Govt. and private contractor would be making from these roads all over Himachal. It’s perhaps too much for a common man to believe, but here, in India, funds aren’t granted for any public facilities and their maintenance or welfare unless they doesn’t come with a chance to devour the greater share sanctioned funds.
Now, the Govt. and the public is really making Shimla bleed real bad. We hope you have heard of tree massacre at Tardevi where 477 trees and saplings were axed by plot owners adjoining the Tara Devi temple complex. The natural resources are burdened with over-construction in ever expanding Shimla city.
Increasing traffic and air pollution are already haunting the city.
Leaking sewage pipes and excess littering is pushing the ‘Queen of Hills’ towards a disastrous future.
While the people need awareness, the Govt. needs some kind of whipping lash for being so careless. We the people need to be that lash. Forget about Judiciary, Police, Vigilance or constitution. Our Govt. officials, politicians, public representatives, private contractors, no one care about it at all. Almost each one of us has fallen for sweet fruits that corruption promises to fetch. However, it’s nothing more than the devil himself in disguise.