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Infuriated Shimla Mayor calls Smart City evaluation formula ridiculous, alleges Mission Director of partism mind set

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Shimla Mayor Files FIR against

SHIMLA- In press note, the Mayor of Shimla city said that he was shocked to note some of the reports that appeared in the press regarding Dharamshala being chosen for Smart City from Himachal Pradesh. The qualification for Dharamshala has only come after evaluation by Mission Director and her staff, who are not final authority. He also alleged that the minutes of HPSC have still not been confirmed, therefore, he has raised objection. He also said that as far as the evaluation done by Mission Director it seems they have not learnt any lessons from the past and continue to work with partism mind set. The entire exercise by Mission Director is being done in a slavish manner at the behest of UD Minister, he said.

Based on the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) participation in the Smart City HPSC meeting held on January 7, 2016, the Mayor asserts on the following points:

1) The severe indictment of the Department has come to the fore of fudging the data in past which they have admitted by bringing in a new consolidated Smart City Score for both Shimla and Dharamshala. This amply proves that there has been serious partism functioning on the part of the department as both the score sheets of the past and present does not match. What does it prove?

2) The UD department led by the Mission Director in strong abatement with the Minister have come up with their own imaginative score sheet placing percentile instead of points. What does this mean? According to the Departments evaluation excel with all their concoctions, Shimla score 77 points (though the actual figure is 85) and Dharamshala scores 72.5 (Actual score is 32.5). However, with their own imaginative formula Shimla gets score out of 100 and were as Dharamshala gets score out of 80, which leads to a percentile of 77.5 and 90% for Shimla and Dharamshala respectively. This is utterly ridiculous; firstly this was never brought to the discussion prior to the evaluation and completely contradicts to the guidelines of evaluation format under stage 1.

3) Even if there ridiculous formula is to be accepted, but the actual data and not fudged data (32.5) is to be considered then they score 40.6%, which is nearly half which Shimla scores.

4) He strongly condemned the hell bent attitude of the Mission Director and in case the HPSC to recommends the same evaluation criteria then MC Shimla will be left with no other option but to resort to a legal solution. This is what MC Shimla has to speak on the merits of Smart city score card evaluation.

During the meeting following observations were raised by the Mayor:

1. Total Scoring Pattern
He pointed out that why now the scoring for Dharamshala town is taken from 80, this means that ACS UD and her team have not paid any attention for conducting evaluation earlier and she has just nominated city wrongly and in pressure from Government. It was also agreed by ACS UD that earlier they have made fallacious evaluation.

2. JNNURM Reforms
Dharamshala city has not done any single reform as per UIDSSMT reforms, then how come Dharamshala assigned 10 marks against this earlier. Similarly now why this parameter was not taken for final scoring. Dharamshala is an UIDSSMT town and as per the guidelines of UIDSSMT, Dharamshala has to achieve all the six reforms such as i) Adoption of modern, accrual-based double entry system, ii) Introduction of system of e-governance using IT applications for various services iii) reform of property tax with GIS, so that it becomes major source of revenue for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) iv) Levy of reasonable user charges by ULBs/Para-statals with the objective that full cost of operation and maintenance or recurring cost v) Internal earmarking within local body, budgets for basic services to the urban poor vi) Provision of basic services to urban poor.

Whereas Dharamshala town has not done any single reform which was also supported and agreed by Commissioner Dharamshala town. When the Commissioner Dharamshala was questioned regarding Double entry accounting system, he replied that they are now starting to implement. Similarly Shimla has completed all the reforms which was agreed by the members of Committee.

3. Self Financing of Salaries
Commissioner Dharamshala submitted that they pay their staff salaries from the grants, however as per the parameter of scoring salaries are to be paid by own source of ULB. However, evaluation committee which only comprises ACS UD and Director UD have given full marks. Hon’ble Mayor objected and mentioned that since the salaries are not paid by their own income the marks of Dharamshala town should be 0. The evaluation committee has not adhered to the criteria given in the score card, which justifies their interest for promoting Dharamshala town.

4. Contribution of internal revenue sources ((self-generated) used for capital works
How can Dharamshala MC spend more than 20% of their own revenue on capital works when there revenue is equal to their salaries? Total salary of Dharamshala MC per month is Rs 22.60 lakhs as per the given figures, and total revenue of MC Dharamshala is Rs. 2.74 crore. This means that entire revenue gets exhausted for disbursement of salary of Rs 2.71 crore.

Further, how Dharamshala city can justify utilisation of its funds for capital expenditure. Similarly if they are utilizing the revenue for capital expenditure, than how the Dharamshala MC is self financing its salaries. They are only left with Rs. 3 lakhs as per there revenue statement. Hence the ACS UD and Director UD have not made serious thoughts while evaluating. The total score of Dharamshala MC for this parameter is also 0.

5. Other Points raised

1. The Mayor requested to the Committee to show supporting documents of Dharamshala town. However, Dharamshala Municipal town and ACS UD had no document to produce against the parameters defined in score card, which showed that the marks are given in whims and fancies for promoting Dharamshala town.
2.
Similarly Shimla city had all substantiate documents against all the parameters, the copies of same were also supplied to the committee.

This clearly indicated that ACS UD has simply promoted city for her own interests, he said.

3. With dissatisfaction from the scoring and evaluation including no supporting documents from Dharamshala city, he submitted the score card of Dharamshala town to the Steering Committee which showed the actual evaluation of Dharamshala MC. The total score of Dhramshala as per actual scoring is 32.5 out of 100 and Shimla MC is 85 out of 100.

4. The evaluation committee even after the directions from Hon’ble High Court has not undertaken the exercise seriously and the entire exercise is again done for formality. The evaluation is done in non transparent manner concealing the actual facts. The Committee was required to evaluate based on guidelines and score Card, the committee has not given any heed to read the score card and its parameters carefully.

5. In light of this, he requested the Committee for fair evaluation and insisted that there has to be reason why only Dharamshala town is selected for Smart city. Whereas if Dharamshala can qualify than any other town in Himachal such as Rampur, Kullu, Mandi, Talai, Solan etc qualify equally. He insisted that Committee should give serious thoughts to his suggestion.

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Himachal Heads Towards Full Lockdown as Covid Cases Spike; 5,424 New Infections and 37 Deaths Reported in 24 Hours

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lockdown in himachal pradesh in may

Shimla-With 37 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours due to severe Covid symptoms, Himachal Pradesh’s total death toll has climbed to 1,817 on Saturday. The state reported 5,424 new cases of infection taking the total to 1,28,330.

Kangra district reported the highest number of fatalities with 14 deaths followed by state capital Shimla that reported 11 deaths in the last 24-hours. A 27-year-old woman was the youngest patient to die due to coronavirus and Pneumonia in the district of Kangra.

The infection has claimed the lives of 497 people in Kangra and 391 in Shimla till now.

 A total of 18725 people across the state were sampled for the infection on Saturday, an increase from Friday when 12,930. On Saturday a total of 3,634 tests remain awaited, the maximum is from Kangra district with 1,258 Covid tests awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

According to a report by The Tribune, many RT-PCR test samples collected in Kangra district on April 29 were still awaited. Considering the fatality of the virus this mismanagement by state health authorities can prove deadly for many patients if they do not receive the diagnosis on time. With a delay of over a week, patients are also doubting the authenticity of the samples since they are potent for testing for just 24 hours under ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association came down heavily on the Health Ministry on Saturday criticising the lack of medical equipment and crumbling medical infrastructure. In a press release on Saturday, the IMA urged the central government to ‘wake up from its slumber’ as thousands of Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms due to lack of basic medical equipment like oxygen cylinders, ambulances, and more. The IMA also pointed out the lack of Covid vaccine stock even though everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive their shots. The press release also mentioned that sporadic night curfew will not be much effective in curbing the spread of infection and requested the government that life is more precious than the economy.

The Himachal government has now planned on imposing a full lockdown in the state considering the rapid increase of infection cases.  However, the government is apprehensive in using the term “lockdown” and is still calling it “corona curfew”.

Also Read: Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

The update comes after a partial corona curfew was put in place from May 7. Under the new lockdown rules, public transport both private and the government will not be running, and shops selling essential commodities will remain open for three hours only. Timing of the shops would be fixed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. Citizens will also not be allowed to travel in private vehicles unless there is an urgent requirement.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh may 8

Feature Photo:Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

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Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

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HP Govt new curfew rules in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Curfew Rules in Himachal Pradesh have been changed from 10 May onwards. More stringent restrictive measures would be put in place, the state government said today.

The Disaster Management Cell of the Revenue Department, HP Government, today issued a notification regarding the changes in the curfew rules which will come into effect from May 10 (6 am) to 17 May (6 am).

According to the notification, from 10 May onwards all public and private transport would remain closed. Movement of private vehicles would also be restricted except for emergency cases, vaccination, testing and treatment for COVID-19, and those used in the delivery of essential, medical and public services.  

Only shops selling essentials and daily needs such as food grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, groceries would be allowed to open for only three hours.

Further, shops dealing in construction material would also remain closed for now.

This time limit would not apply to pharmacies and medical stores.

Notification regarding the timings would be issued by the concerned district administrations, the government said.   

The reason behind the decision was cited to be the alarming rate of COVID-19 spread and fatality. The situation is likely to become more like a complete lockdown. 

The decision has also come after Chief Minister Jairam Thakur spoke to Prime Minister Narender Modi regarding the situation in the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had been facing flak over imposing a corona curfew with very flexible rules. Chief Minister, however, argues that the decision was taken to ensure that the livelihood of the people doesn’t get affected adversely.

Also Read: IMA Asks Govt, Why Are We Hiding the Actual Death Count? Demands Health Ministry to Wake Up from Slumber

Also, today, the Indian Medical Association issued a statement in which it condemned the union health ministry over its lackadaisical attitude in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a stern tone. The Association lashed out at the government over ignoring its recommendation for a complete and nationwide lockdown to break the chain.

Also, the Association alleged that the ministry is deciding without taking ground realities into account, which the health experts had been bringing to its notice. The IMA also questions the government as to why it was trying to hide the true number of COVID-19 casualties.

Today, the state has lost 37 lives to the infection and reported 5424 new cases.

Chief Minister claims that the state has a sufficient supply of oxygen, but the number of available oxygen cylinders was still an issue that needs to be attended to.

Earlier today, the government suggested that more stringent restrictive actions could be taken in Sirmaur, Solan, Una, and Kangra district, which are reporting a high number of new cases and fatalities.

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Himachal Reports 56 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours, Over 60% Had No Comorbidities

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coronavirus hp health department

Shimla– On Friday Himachal Pradesh reported 56 deaths due to coronavirus infection taking the total number of casualties in the state to 1,780, according to official data released by the state government. This is the highest number of deaths in a day in the state so far. About 38 patients (over 60%) who succumbed to the infection had no other medical condition.

A total of 4,177 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported on Friday taking the total to 1,22,906.

In Kangra district, a total of 21 Covid-patients succumbed to the severe symptoms, reporting the highest number of casualties. Meanwhile, Sirmaur reported nine casualties followed by Solan district where eight patients died due to the infection.

The youngest patient who died of Covid-19 was a 20-year-old woman from the Mandi district. The patient was also reported to have comorbid pulmonary tuberculosis. One of the patients who died due to severe symptoms of Covid-19 was a 27-year-old woman from Sirmaur district who was pregnant with her second child.

Also Read: Coronavirus Claims Life of 12-Year-Old Boy in Himachal 

Today, a total of 15,495 samples were tested as compared to yesterday’s 18694. The state government had been directing officials to increase testing regularly, but the actual number hasn’t crossed 20,000 per day so far.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 7, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

corona cases in himachal

A total of 122,930 people across the state have been sampled for coronavirus till now. Out of this test results of 5,234 people are awaited while.

After Backlash, HP Govt Increases Incentive for Health Staff

On Thursday, the state government decided to increase the incentive paid to the final year students from MBBS, nursing, and contractual doctors in Covid hospitals who will be roped in to boost the on-ground staff.

Earlier, the state government had announced that it will be paying Rs 3,000 per month to the Junior and Senior Resident doctors and fourth and fifth-year medical students while final year nursing students were to be paid Rs 1,500 per month for their duty in Covid wards. After facing much criticism, the state government has now increased the incentive to Rs 10,000 per month for fourth and fifth-year MBBS students, Junior and Senior Residents, and Contractual Doctors. For third-year Nursing students, the incentive has been increased to Rs 6,000, while Contractual Lab staff, and third-year General Nursing and Midwifery students will get Rs 5000 per month for their Covid duty.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Casualties for May 7, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

COVID-19 report himachal pradesh 2021 l

hp govt covid-19 data may 2021

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