In 4 years, Shimla MC couldn’t repair and maintain a small footpath
SHIMLA – An HW reader, resident of Vikasnagar ward in Shimla, forwarded us a public grievance regarding condition of poorly maintained footpath in locality. The path descends down at a steep angle and has become risky due to lack of safety railing, damaged steps, and lack of functional streetlights.
Video and images shows misery of Vikasnagar residents who use this path daily
Surprisingly, the contents of grievance (pictures and video) were recorded and presented in a highly comprehensive manner. The complainant recorded a video during night, clicked some images during day, and edited them before forwarding to HW.
HW had also submitted official complaints in 2012 and 2013 on E-Samadhan regarding lack of lighting on a poorly maintained footpath that connects lower Vikasnagar to the Shimla bypass road. The whole length of the path comprises of ruins of damaged and incomplete concrete steps.
The electricity poles are installed but streetlights rarely operate. Out of total 400 – 600 meters, 80% length lacks streetlight, making it unsafe for hundreds of people who use it every day.
Now, in 2015, we have received a video footage and pictures of the same path sent by a reader. It isn’t a surprise seeing the path in same condition despite the fact that maintenance work was initiated after our complaint and materials like cement, tiles, and gravel had also arrived here. But the maintenance work was abandoned soon and the material disappeared gradually. Money was sanctioned and contract was awarded for the maintenance, then why it was not completed and where all that construction material disappeared?
The iron bars were erected to provide safety, but they are left without fences.
It is not about only Vikasnagar. For SMC, Shimla is limited to the Shimla Ridge, the Shimla Mall and some VIP areas. The capital city does not have basic facilities for its own people. On the top of that, administration never shows any interest in public grievances.
Water supply pipes are placed poorly and pose risk of stumbling during night as there is no streetlight.
After so many years of Independence, the government and its machinery is still running on ‘Jugaad’. Shimla Municipal Corporation is one of HP government’s malfunctioning official tools. The reasons can be attributed to rampant corruption, lack of vision, and political nexus between the Mayor and Deputy Mayor with present government. The capital city Shimla aptly showcases standard of the government and those who represent it. Even in the capital, condition of public infrastructure and facilities such as roads, footpaths, street-lighting, transportation, roadside safety, drainage, garbage management, everything is set in ‘Jugaad’ mode. When public reach the administration with grievances or demands, they always receive same reply – “we are fund starved”.
The only appreciable aspect of this complaint is the display participation and dedication of a common man while highlighting a public grievance. Himachal Watcher always strives to poke common people to speak up and send us public grievances they come across in their locality. Though a small community actively participate for a cause, public has begun reacting and people do write to HW, while many others post such issues on social media. We hope, people will realize how an individual can make difference simply by acting like a responsible citizen, who speaks for entire society around him/her. Without community participation, social awaking isn’t possible.