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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.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: 12 COVID-19 Deaths in a Day, 68 in Past 19 Days

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 deaths

Shimla-The COVID-19 fatality rate in Himachal Pradesh is spiralling up. On September 18, the state reported a record 12 deaths in a single day. The deceased aged between 42 to 95 years and most had other pre-existing medical conditions. A total of 432 new confirmed cases took the COVID-19 case tally for the state to 11622 till the last official update from the Health Department (9 PM).

The situation is alarming as 5367 of the total cases and 68 fatalities were reported during the past 19 days of September month. So far, the highest 24 deaths have been reported from Kangra district, followed by Solan (21) and Shimla (20). (View the table below for statistics from other districts).

Available data of fatalities suggests that elderly persons and patients of Diabetes Mellitus, Cancer and Chronic Kidney Disease are highly vulnerable. Take a look at the medical conditions and symptoms of the 12 patients who succumbed to the infection yesterday:

Himachal Pradesh Daily COVID-19 deaths

 So far, Solan district has reported the highest 2566 cases, followed by Kangra (1759), Siramur (1482), Mandi (1228), and Una (1057). The tally for Shimla is witnessing a steep rise as the number has reached 826, of which 730 cases were reported during the past 19 days.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 18, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 data till september 18, 2020

These numbers are official statistics and the original number could be much higher as it is not possible for the government to trace all cases due to community spread. The government itself admitted that people with mild symptoms are not getting tested or reporting it and isolating themselves. These people are fueling community spread, the government said. 

Regarding the fatalities, the health officials say that people are coming to hospitals very late only when their symptoms worsen. They have urged people to not ignore the appearance of symptoms and get tested or inform the authorities.

Meanwhile, lifting all restrictions on inter-state movement of people including tourists would add fuel to the situation. Tourists have begun to visit the state and the attitude of the public is becoming more casual, following the lead of the state government.

As usual, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur continues to maintain that the state government is prepared to deal with community spread. Moreover, with this surge in cases and fatalities, the blame is being shifted on the people alone. 

Feature Image: [email protected]_s

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Schools in Himachal to Open With 50% Staff  for Students of 9th to 12th Classes

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Himachal Pradesh Schools Opening

Shimla: After lifting all restriction on entry into Himachal Pradesh in the previous Cabinet meeting, today the state government also gave nod to re-open schools from September 21, 2020. The decision was taken in a meeting of HP Cabinet held on September 18, 2020, in Shimla. 

Only those educational institutions would be opened which are outside containment zones. Schools would be opened as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was informed.

Also Read: Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Only fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff would attend students from 9th to 12th standard, provided the students are willing to take guidance from the teachers, the government informed. The students would be able to visit their teachers for guidance, but it won’t be mandatory to come to schools.

Also, written consent of the parents or guardians of the students has been made mandatory.

It is speculated that there are bleak chances of opening primary schools this year as the community spread is in its initial phase and would be wreaking havoc in upcoming months. Himachal Pradesh has reported over 400 cases with 12 deaths today only.  

It would mean a huge loss in terms of education. There are several other obstacles and issues which make online classes for students of primary classes a difficult and less efficient mode of education. Imparting education amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenging task for the state government.

Further, the Cabinet gave its approval to start BSc (Hons.) in Forestry in Government College for Forestry and Horticulture, Thunag in Mandi district from the academic session 2020-21.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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