Shimla roads cursed with over-construction, complemented by our negligence
SHIMLA- Condition of roads in Shimla is poor. It’s one of the most frequently cried grievances of public. But, did all that sand, iron bars, bricks and crushed-stone unloaded on roadsides throughout Shimla city ever catch your eye? Of course, it’s likely to be a familiar sight as Shimla is now infected with over-construction, which is, indeed, the very nature of urbanization. The concrete takes over the place and replaces forest rapidly.
Urbanization requires raw materials for infrastructure, thus, we see many trucks of sand, bricks, and crushed stone unloaded on roadsides. Both, the private contractors building private, Govt. or commercial buildings or anything alike, throws it carelessly anywhere on roadsides. They won’t remove it for weeks and for months, and in case a Govt. job is in progress like parapets repair, drainage maintenance etc. Sand and small stones start spreading onto the road as they come in contact with tires.
The most dangerous of them are iron beams, carelessly thrown on roadsides. Take a look at the picture above. The picture shows a very critical mistake. Some of them are onto the road and their ends are edgy enough to puncture a tire. No need to say, the scenario is more lethal for two-wheelers.
The conclusion is that no one cares for others around him/her, even when it’s about human lives. Such miserable creatures they are, completely blank about the risk they pose to people.
As a matter of fact, the sand, stones, and rubble either partially block a road at one side. For two-wheelers, this mess is one of the worst enemies. Even a little pebble could imbalance a two-wheeler. Emergency brakes or breaks at a high-speed would cause a skid when the tire would find it hard to get a grip on the road due to this layer, which covers the surface of a road.
To avoid riding over it, two-wheel riders try to avoid them by taking on the wrong side of the road. Of course, they do it to avoid some small patch for that very moment, but you can never say how safe it is on the wrong side of a crowded city road. Thus, it becomes a matter of life and death.
Then the air pollution is unavoidable in any condition. All the sand and dust find its way into our lungs, on our bodies, cloths, vehicles, shop and almost everywhere.
Municipality has clearly defined rules for unloading and displacing construction material on roadsides. Sometimes, you can find a board on a roadside spot displaying the timings for this purpose. Any load of such raw material must be unloaded at night, which must be removed before morning. In case of defiance, fines are defined to punish violators.
However, Govt. and its bankrupt MC, which is also full of educated illiterates, never observed bothering regarding violators. There isn’t any hint at road safety or traffic troubles caused by carelessly unloaded trucks of sands and stones.
The tarring peeled off from roads, poor street-lighting, poor drainage systems, poor garbage and waste management, poor sanitation measures including regularly leaking sewage pipes, illegal axing of trees in urban Shimla and 100 percent tolerance for violators; that’s our MC and Govt.
On the top of it, they behave like insolent boors when these issues are brought to their attention, and then they complaint we don’t highlight their achievements. Good governance is limited upto elections manifestos only. Nowadays, the MLAs and high-rank Govt. officials are ferociously fighting for red beacons. The court allowed them amber light, but they want red beacon only.
The truth is that the public and their representative at every level of Govt. have no clue about civilized behavior. There isn’t any sense of common good, no feeling of fraternity, and no moral values left in us, and the situation is deteriorating swiftly, silently.