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People using umbrellas inside capital town Shimla’s tattered rain-shelter



In reply, the Mayor, in a media statement, had argued that abundant of development works have been undertaken during his tenure, but the BJP wasn’t able to see it. However, as a matter of fact, no one is able to see it.

SHIMLA- Public in Shimla town is seen using umbrellas inside rains-shelters to protect from rain. The ugly political affairs, inexplicable slumber of district administration and the civic body have made this ridiculous joke with public a reality in Shimla.

The picture posted above was shared with Himacahal Watcher by a resident of Totu. It shows the only rain-shelter at Tutu Chowk in capital town Shimla. The rain-shelter is located in the middle of the main and very crowded Totu market. Thousands of people use this bus stop daily. In fact, the rain-shelter is too small to serve comparatively larger population. When it rains, people at this stoppage have only this small shelter that is in tatters, and people need umbrellas inside it to avoid rain-water pouring in through the holes and gaps in the metal roof that are clearly visible in the picture. Take a closer look at the picture and anyone can notice water pouring over people. Apparently, the rain-shelter hasn’t received any maintenance in recent years.

I myself got wet like hell while standing inside the shelter with several others

, a local told Himachal Watcher.

It’s deplorable. Clearly, the roof is full of holes and gaps. People inside it need umbrellas in their hands in order to keep themselves safe and dry. I don’t know why the authorities have not taken heed of it,

he further added.

Deputy Mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan was recently miffed over Bhartiya Janata Party’s criticism for being a failure to deliver any significant development to the people of capital town Shimla during his five year tenure. BJP even submitted a charge-sheet to the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur labeling Congress Government and Communist Party of India (Marxist) a failure to deliver even basic facilities to people.

In reply, the Mayor, in a media statement, had argued that abundant of development works have been undertaken during his tenure, but the BJP wasn’t able to see it. However, as a matter of fact, no one is able to see it. The rain shelters on the Mall or in core areas might be well maintained, but rest of the city has faced neglect.

The Deputy Mayor, Tikendar Panwar, lives in the same locality yet he is indifferent to condition of this very basic public facility. Further, the elected Ward Councilor doesn’t exist except papers.

SMC is going for polls on June 16 as the tenure of CPI (M) representatives is already over. The Mayor is trying to convince people that a lot has been done for the betterment of facilities in the town. However, it’s a bitter reality that town has struggled almost for all basic facilities like water supply, waste management, roads, drainage systems, parking spaces. There is no efficient step taken to control monkey and stray dog population.

It’s indeed a matter of embarrassment for the administrations and the government that people need umbrellas inside rain-shelters. Sadly, the administration doesn’t mind such embarrassments.

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16-years-old girl dies of poverty despite widowed mother’s pleas to HP Govt for help



poor Solan girl dies of kidney failure

CM had reportedly assured that the girl would be provided with the needed relief. He had told the delegation of journalists that he had made contact with the PGI asking it to begin the treatment of Deepika.

Shimla: Almost every day, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, appears in photos receiving checks worth lakhs of rupees and even crores as a donation to the CM Relief Fund. The SJVNL had donated Rs. 1 crore to the Fund in January 2018.

SJVN donation towards HP CM relief Fund

Unfortunately, the State Government allegedly failed to grant a trivial part of it for the timely treatment of a 16-years-old girl, who had met a complete kidney failure a couple of weeks ago. The girl died on early Saturday morning at the PGI, Chandigarh. 

The government, however, did not issue any official statement regarding the status of the release of the fund.  

Her widowed mother had spent a couple of lakhs she could arrange. The mother was left penniless by the time the girl was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The mother, Sukhdai, a resident of Kashlog panchayat of Solan district, came ahead as the donor – the best she could do to save her daughter. Despite having a donor, the widowed mother found herself unable to arrange this gigantic amount required for the transplant.

The call for help first appear on social media and made rounds of Facebook and WhatsApp before reaching the Hindi dailies. A couple of social organizations and individuals did extend monetary support, which proved to be insufficient.

The Government was supposed to take cognizance of the media reports instead of waiting for someone to guide the mother. 

The mother had made several pleas to the people and government to save her daughter who was then about to die. A group of local journalists had also met the Chief Minister on March 18, 2018, to bring the matter pertaining to the life and death of the said girl to the attention of the CM.  

Himachal Watcher had also talked to the mother and had published a story regarding the Chief Minister’s intervention.  

The CM had reportedly assured that the girl would be provided with the needed relief. He had reportedly told the delegation of journalists that he had established contact with the PGI asking it to begin the treatment of Deepika immediately.

However, in reality, she did not receive any relief (at least not timely) and succumbed to her poverty this morning.  

Here is what the RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya alleged in a social media post:

As a heartbreaking ending, a poverty-stricken, widowed mother ended up watching her daughter die in front of her eyes while their misery mocked at both of them. The ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign of the State Government failed her.

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Shimla MC allegedly makes insensitive comments over mishap caused by its carelessness




Shimla MC JE

Shimla: The change of power in Himachal Pradesh, as well as in the local bodies, has now begun to manifest itself through the attitude of government staff. Keeping with the trend, the staff of Shimla Municipal Corporation House also seems to have emboldened.

An aggrieved citizen brought to our attention his bitter confrontation with one of SMC’s Junior Engineers, who showed complete indifference to a risk that his own carelessness posed for the public safety.  

On March 8, 2018, a lady had fractured her leg after she stepped on an uncovered ‘water valve box’ or road box of the SMC. right outside the gate of Auckland House School for Boys. She was returning home after attending a parent-teachers’ meeting.

Another man, a father of two kids who attend nursery classes at same school witnessed the accident and was one of the first to come to help the woman. The fractured leg had left her groaning in pain.

It would be a mistake to consider it a trivial and isolated incident as several other spots in Shimla town pose the same threat to the public. While several road boxes are uncovered, some others are placed in a haphazard manner.

As a matter of fact, despite being a public safety concern, none of the local journalists found it worth highlighting.  

Himachal Watcher, in its previous article, had also tagged the Mayor, Kusum Sadret, to apprise her of this safety issue. 

After the lady was taken to the Indira Gandhi Medical College for treatment, the father made a complaint to the SMC on its helpline number 1916.

He requested the SMC to take up the matter immediately and cover the said box to avert further mishaps, especially with the nursery kids. Moreover, similar mishaps have been reported due to this carelessness of the Corporation, he told the SMC.

However, the SMC still not fixed it properly, rather, did a ‘Jugaad’ job (as shown in the picture below). 

Photo 1.0

Shimla MC JE

The man clicked a fresh photo on March 14 and made another phone call to the SMC to file a verbal complain about the poor job done by its field staff. The official on the other end could not give a satisfactory answer to the queries of the father.

Therefore, the SMC office further diverted him to the concerned Junior Engineer, who looks after the area. The father approached the JE phonically and expressed concern over the safety of his own children as well as several others who use this road.

The father told the JE that the field staff did not take this safety concern seriously despite the said accident and covered the road box with a damaged lid, which was still posing threat to children and pedestrians. The gap in the lid was still large enough to trap foot of a nursery kid. (See photo  1.0)

When questioned about the issue, the JE said the SMC don’t have a proper arrangement to cover it. He said it will be replaced later. The man, however, told the JE that even the temporary arrangement was made with equally irresponsible manner.

He reminded the JE that this box must be covered on priority bases as it is a matter of safety of the public, especially the school kids. The JE tried to wash his hands of saying it will be fixed later but did not give any readdressal period. He asked the JE to define an approximate deadline for the replacement.   

The father apprised the JE of the mishap with the lady, who had fractured her leg.

The JE, however, allegedly made a very rude and insensitive comment in the following words,

To logon ko bhi jameen par dekh ke chalana chahiye (People should walk with their eyes on the ground).

The complainant again asked the JE to at least provide an approximate time that the SMC would take to fix the box.

The complainant asked the JE,

Who will take the responsibility if a kid gets injured meanwhile SMC delay replacement of the damaged cover?

To the dismay of agitated father, the JE once again repeated,

Admi ki bhi jimedari hai ki wo jameen par dekh kar chale (It is the responsibility of people to keep their eyes on the ground while walking).

The father was not only offended but also stunned at the insensitivity shown by the JE towards the safety of kids and public in general. 


In a way, he told me to apply same to nursery kids. Is it a sensible thing to do to leave the kids on their own and turn a blind eye towards his own error,

the father told HW. 

It’s the height of irresponsibility. Despite being the responsibility of JE, he showed indifferent towards the safety of children and ignored his duty he is paid for. To make things more ugly, he did not hesitate to make offensive comments and insult a citizen, who had approached him with a valid complaint. 

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Woman fractures leg after stepping onto Shimla MC’s trap of negligence



Shimla: The Carelessness on the part of Shimla Municipal Corporation today led to an accident in which a woman fractured her leg. The woman was taken to the Indira Gandhi Medical College where the fractured leg received a plaster cast.

It implies that the woman’s mobility will be restricted for at least one month, affecting her entire routine. In addition, she will have to bear the pain inflicted due to the negligence of the civic body and pay the bill for treatment.  

This little gift from the SMC to the lady on the Women’s Day resulted in both physical and mental harassment. The woman can actually sue the civic body and demand compensation for her injury if she wants. 

The woman, who was identified as Anjana Janartha, told Himachal Watcher that she had come to attend a parent-teacher meeting at the Auckland House School for Boys.

After the meeting, she had barely taken a few steps when she suddenly stumbled. A few meters away from the school-gate, an uncovered water valve of Shimla MC, which was located in the middle of the road, waited for her.

The woman fell a victim to it as her step landed in the uncovered cavity around the valve, and she stumbled. The other parents present on the spot helped the woman. However, the accident twisted her leg badly.

Some of the parents, who talked to HW, complained that the cover of the valve is missing for years now. The absence of a stop tap cover turned it into a dangerous trap.

It was not an isolated incident. Last year, a woman had stumbled after stepping onto the same trap, but fortunately did not receive major injuries.

The parents said there had been occasions when children either stumbled or had narrow escapes. The children upto primary level are more vulnerable to this trap of ignorance.   

There are innumerous underground water valves in Shimla, which are lying without any cover or closure.  It is a matter of safety of the public and no compromise should be made in this regard.  

The SMC needs to take stock of such spots and cover them properly to avert any future mishaps.    

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