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‘SDM Saheb’ common man’s time is valuable too, don’t take it for granted

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Driving-and-Fitness-Schedule-for-Month-of-September-15-09-2016-final

Apathy of SDM Shimla (Rural) and MVI, didn’t show up at driving test site while hundreds applicant put on hold, spend the day waiting for about 4-5 hours

SHIMLA-In what people alleged as a disgraceful gesture, SDM Shimla (Rural) Gyan Chand Negi and Motor Vehicle Inspector or any other official didn’t show up to conduct driving test scheduled on September 15, 2016. About 200 applicants waited for over four hours because they weren’t provided any information about cancellation at all. Applicants had to call up the SDM office. They were told the test was cancelled. Candidates included people who were applying for license, renewal of license, and upgrade of LMV license.

As per official notification, trial was scheduled to start from 9 AM near Taradevi in Shimla. However, applicants were kept on hold by assuring arrival of concerned officials by 10 AM or so. After a wait of hours, anger burst out among frustrated people who then shouted slogans against administration to express it. Still, no official bothered to attend to the people in unrest.

Shimla Driving Trial Cancellation

Official Notification on HP Department of Transport Website

A youth, who had travelled from Dhalli for the trial, told Himachal Watcher,

“They should at least issue some kind of notice in advance if trial had to be canceled.”

“There were people from SUNNI, two men had come from Chandigarh on leave, or some others had hired a taxi or drove their cars. Loss of time and money is an obvious issue here. Such sense of irresponsibility reflected on the part of officials is overwhelming,”
 the youth added.

“This is not the first time and trial was cancelled,” alleged another man. On Rakhsha Bandhan people had faced similar inconvenience. On another occasion, he alleged, “trail was cancelled abruptly for the Chief Minister was visiting the area”.

Driving and Fitness Schedule for Month of September-15-09-2016-e
It is noticeable that similar instances have been reported regularly when driving tests were cancelled without bothering to disseminate timely information to candidates. ‘Saheb log’ take people for granted like time they waste in travelling to the site of trial and waiting for hours on a roadside doesn’t matter at all.

In the current instance, people who had travelled from various rural regions like Sunni, Basantpur, Mashobra, Koti etc. or those who had taken leave from office in order to take the test. Some candidates, who are living outside Himachal, had also reached Shimla to take the test for renewal of their license.

Truck drivers and others working on daily wages or facing deadlines apparently faced monetary loss for which administration is responsible.

“When people go by procedure, the officials should stick to it too. No wonder why so many people bypass the system and hire a middleman for some 4000 odd rupees and get the license without even appearing for the trial. It is an act that encourages corruption in government system,” said the youth.

SDM Saheb’s Justification
When asked about reason for such callous attitude towards public convenience and punctuality that reflect blunt disrespect to dignity of individuals, to value of their time, the SDM replied that officials were busy in a meeting. He further shifted the blame on people saying they should not wait for last date of driving test.The date of trial is decided by the HP Transport Department, he said.

The matter is highly condemnable and concerned officials are responsible for wastage of common man’s time and money. Moreover, such cases have also been reported in past when the officials didn’t show up, neither did inform people who waited for hours before returning empty-handed. It is the duty of officials to timely inform the people, even at the last moment. Being busy in meeting and keep so many people on hold for hours only to tell them that the trail was cancelled isn’t justifiable

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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Himachal Reports Spike in Covid Casualties with 64 Deaths in 24-hours; 4,977 Fresh Infections Reported

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported a surge in Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday as 64 people died due to the infection, while 4,977 new cases were reported within the last 24 hours. This takes the death toll to 1,989 while the total cases of coronavirus in the state till now to 1,40,759.

Out of 64 dead, only 11 patients had comorbidities. While thirteen patients were below the age of 50. This indicates the aggressive nature of the new variant of coronavirus that has been ravaging the country. The highest casualties were reported from Kangra district with 21 deaths while Solan district reported 12 deaths followed by Mandi district with 10 fatalities.

As the fatalities are increasing across the state, the sampling of infection has still not touched even the 20,000 mark. On Tuesday 14,722 people were sampled while 3,713 tests remain awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

hp health dpt

Out of 2,445 beds available across the state in the Covid hospitals, only 63 ICU beds are available. While 415 beds have oxygen support.

On Tuesday the state government also issued a notification announcing that health workers who have received both the Covid vaccine shots will not have to follow the quarantine protocol after rendering their services in health care facilities.

On the condition of anonymity, a health official told Himachal Watcher that Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) has opposed this move as cases of infection despite vaccination continue to appear.

The spike in Covid cases across the state has highlighted the shortage of healthcare workers in the state as medical infrastructure moves toward the brink of a formidable caseload.

Further, the state needs to consider the meagre incentives the frontline workers are receiving and the overwhelming effect it will have on their mental and physical health.

Himachal is currently under a corona curfew with restrictions on interstate movement. But the government maintains that it’s not a lockdown as some exceptions have been included in the activities to be allowed.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Shimla City’s Sanitation Worker Dies of Covid-19, Demand Raised to Pay Rs. 50 Lakh Ex-Gratia as Assured to All Frontline Workers  

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Shimla– Sanitation workers/garbage collectors in Himachal Pradesh are among the frontline workers who had been performing their duties unabated regardless of lockdowns. Right from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, sanitation workers have been playing their part in combating it. The pandemic has grown deadlier this year with its second wave. Sanitation workers and garbage-collectors are at higher risk of contracting the infection due to the nature of their job. 

One of these sanitation workers, Sun Kumar, working under the Shimla Environment, Heritage & Beautification Society (SHEB) as a garbage collector, succumbed to Covid-19.

He was about 32-year-old and is survived by a wife and an infant. Demand has been raised to pay Rs. 50 lakh as Ex-Gratia and job to a family member. When the concerned authority was asked regarding the same, it said a request has been forwarded to higher officials for the Ex-Gratia and situation would be clear only after their approval. 

The former mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, was one of those raising this demand.

“The city didn’t lose a sanitation worker but a Covid warrior due to the coronavirus,” he said in a statement released today.

“The government has recognized sanitation workers as frontline workers and had decided to pay Rs. 50 as Ex-Gratia to any such worker who dies on duty. So, the family should be paid the said amount at the earliest along with ensuring employment to one of the family members,” he demanded.

Pertinent to mention that on April 23, 2020, the Himachal Pradesh Government had announced that a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs would be paid as Ex-Gratia out of HPSDMA COVID-19 State Disaster Response Fund to the next of kin of those officers and officials working in the State Government (except health workers) i.e. regular, outsourced, contractual, daily wagers and employees of SEHB Society of Municipal Corporation Shimla engaged in sanitation activities and working in different capacities for the response, relief and containment measures of COVID-19, in case of their death due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Chauhan further appealed to the state government to provide high-quality PPE kits to all the frontline workers of various departments deployed on the Covid duty. He also demanded that the Municipal Corporation, Shimla, should also ensure regular health checkups of its employees to prevent any further loss of lives.   

The state on 17th January 2021 had vaccinated Hardeep Singh, a sanitation worker at the Indira Gandhi Medical Collage & Hospital, Shimla. He was the first person in Himachal to get the vaccine jab. Also, sanitation workers were also honoured last year and certificates of appreciation were given to workers of wards number 16 and 17. 

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Himachal: 53 Succumb to Severe Covid Symptoms in 24 Hours, Spike in Fatality Rate Among Patients With No Comorbidities

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Shimla-On Monday, Himachal reported 4,359 new cases of coronavirus while 53 people succumbed to severe symptoms of infection. This took the state death toll to 1,925 and the total number of infections to 1,35,782 till now according to official data.

 Kangra district continues to report the highest numbers of daily deaths due to coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, the district reported 18 deaths. While the Solan district reported the second-highest casualties with eight deaths in the last 24-hours. The youngest patient to succumb to coronavirus was a 24-year-old man from the Solan district. The man died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest with severe SARS COVID 19 Pneumonia according to official data. No other comorbidity was cited in the report.

About 16 of the deceased persons were aged below 50 years. According to the official statistics, at least 45 (84%) of the deceased had no comorbidities.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

dailly covid case himachal

Source: HP NHM

Meanwhile, in its recent press statement, a state government spokesperson said that the positivity rate of Covid-19 across the state has come out to be 26.3% in the last week. Districts of Kangra, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Shimla, Mandi, Solan, and Sirmour have recorded a positivity rate of more than 20 percent from May 3 to May 9. 

In the last 24-hours, a total of 10,746 Covid testings was done across the state out of which 1,180 remains awaited.

Till now the state has conducted 16,33,923 sampling across the state however, the daily testing rate continues to fluctuate and remains below 20,000 tests per day.

Further, according to the government, by May 10, a total of 16,59,619 people had received the vaccine, out of which 38,0791 people had received both doses. Meanwhile, the state has gone under stricter corona curfew with restrictions imposed on interstate travelling as well.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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