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Deplorable Condition of HRTC Buses, Services, Staff Shortage, Route Suspension Without Notice Resulting in Hardship for Public

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Poor HRTC Bus Conditions and Services

Shimla– The two recent  bus accidents on June 20, 2019, at Banjar that killed 46 passengers and the other at Jhinjhari  near Khalini in Shimla on  July 1 have  not only exposed the inability of the government to provide safe commuting, but also its myopic outlook  to identify  the real cause  behind  these  accidents, said Rakesh Singh, sitting MLA, Theog, and a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He expressed concerned over the deplorable bus services in the state.

With a demand to convene a meeting on urgent basis prior to July 11 to address several issues regarding this matter, he has submitted a memorandum to the State government through the Managing Director, Himachal Road Transport Corporation.

In the memorandum, Singha said the gap between the increasing number of daily computers and the bus services being provided in both the rural and urban areas throughout the state is growing. To overcome this gap, not only additional bus routes are required on the constructed and approved roads but also additional staff needs to be recruited to efficiently and safely run the present public and private mode of communication, he said.

 If the shortage of staff is examined in some of the Transport depots of district  Shimla, it will project an overall view of the critical situation that is existing in the state of Himachal  Pradesh, he said. There are 283 approved bus routes under the Shimla local depot with 240 running buses, there are 111 drivers and 98 conductors short, and given the extreme shortage of staff,  12 routes have been permanently suspended, he said.

Under the Tara Devi depot, the shortage of drivers is 55 and for the conductors, this figure stands at 65. The situation is equally pathetic in the Rohru depot where 24 buses are of zero book value. Shockingly, the HRTC is plying these buses which ordinarily should have been placed in a junkyard. He added that under this depot, 16 buses are more than nine years old and are yet plying. Moreover, everyone is aware of the condition of the roads in the interior of the state, he said.

Apart from this, the figure for the shortage of drivers is 49 and that of conductors is 46. Under the Rampur depot, there are 11 zero book value buses, and the shortage of drivers and conductors is 60 and 42 respectively, he said.

 The memorandum further stated that it is not possible to provide safe and smooth operation of bus services in the state with such kind of miserable conditions of public transportation. The HRTC management has become immune to the frequent accidents that keep taking place in the state, Singha said in the memorandum. The repeated magisterial inquiries have not been able to deliver any results to reduce the number of accidents. Inquires are only conducted for public consumption and academic interests. No one is ever penalized for lapses and no steps are ever taken to rectify and overcome the major shortcomings, he alleged.  

The recent decision of the HRTC of not allowing passengers to abode the buses beyond the sitting capacity has created greater inconvenience to the people. Every day three lakh students travel to and fro to schools, but after the latest decision, they are facing huge trouble in commuting. Thousands of employees are unable to reach their offices on time.

 He further said that everyday hundred of bus routes are being suspended without giving prior notice to the people. This is resulting in the hardships, especially for the patients, infirm, the old, the farmers who carry their farm produce to the market using public transport. Alone in Theog, several bus routes are being suspended now and then causing inconvenience to the public. These routes include Shimla- Sambar, Shimla- Alwa, Shimla-  Gaganghatti,  Shimla- Mahipul via- Tyalli, Shimla- Mundo,  Theog Jarai, Shimla- Shyamnagar via Kogarah and many more.

Singha added that there can be no temporary or stop-gap solution to these problems apart from recruiting the running staff of drivers and conductors, discarding those buses which are of zero book value and purchase of new vehicles.

Misc News/Press Release

Shimla- Multi-Storey Building Collapses, Locals, Ward Councillor Allege Improper Construction as Reason (Pics)

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Shimla– A five-storey building in Shimla’s Kasmupti area collapsed on June 6, 2020, between 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. No person was present inside the building when it collapsed, thus, no loss of life was reported. However, the building collapsed completely and also damaged its adjoining buildings and several trees.

Building collapse in shimla city

While initially, the collapse was said to have been triggered by consistent rains during this entire week, locals and the Ward Councillor alleged that improper construction was the reason for its collapse. 

Multi story building collapsed in shimla

The Ward Councillor said the cause of the collapse was not rains. She said the pillars and foundations of the building were weak which led to its collapse. 

The officials of the district administration, police, and fire services had reached the spot and were assessing the damage. The cause of the collapse was yet to be ascertained.

SDM Shimla (Urban) told media that the first priority is to remove the debris and then assess the damage. On improper construction, she said action would be taken against those who would be found guilty. 

Building collapse in shimla city

As per the initial information available, the building was owned by a businessman identified as Ajay Sood buy one of the persons who had bought a flat in this building. 

Himachal Pradesh Building collapses in Shimla

This buyer told the media that he had bought a flat in 2010 from Ajay Sood. He alleged that the work of the building was not satisfactory and he had even filed suits against Ajay Sood for not keeping his words. More details are still awaited.

Further, the Meteorological Department had issued orange alert from June 5 and 6. Heavy rains have led to the collapse of retaining walls in some other areas too. The monsoon is yet to approach the State.  

Chotta shimla building collapse

 

 

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Alleged Ventilator Scam: FIR Registered Against Persons Who Made Accusations  

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Himachal-Pradesh-Ventilator-scam

Shimla-In the cases related to alleged scam in purchase of ventilators by the Himachal Pradesh Government, an FIR has been registered against those persons who made this complaint, informed a spokesperson of the state Government on July 5, 2020.

The Spokesperson said the persons are trying to malign the image of H.P. State Electronics Development Corporation (HPSEDC), alleging that substandard and low-cost ventilators were purchased by the Corporation at Rs. 10,29,840 per unit whereas actual price of ventilators was Rs. 3,50,000 in private sector.

The Spokesperson said that no such purchase of ventilators was made by the HPSEDC.  The Government has termed it a conspiracy and said action would be taken against persons involved in it.

He said that various committees were constituted for purchase of the ventilators at level of Directorate of Health Services. Before purchase of the ventilators rates and standards of ventilators were studied on GeM Portal.

Besides this, the committee also studied the process of purchase of ventilators adopted by other states. He said that the ventilators were purchased keeping the rate and technical standards into consideration and full transparency has been adopted in purchase of the ventilators.

Earlier, the Health and Family Welfare Department, Himachal Pradesh Government, on June 2, had issued a clarification regarding alleged irregularities in purchase of ventilators in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.  

Also Read:HP Health Dept Issues Clarification Over Alleged Irregularities in ‘Ventilator Purchase’

After a news report appeared in the section of media based on a complaint of alleged irregularities in purchase of ventilators by the Health Department, a report with all documents was sought from the Director Health Services in this regard, the Government had stated in this clarification.

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HP Health Dept Scam: Congress Plans Campaign Against Govt Corruption, Wants ‘White Paper’ on Purchases and CM’s Resignation

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Himachal PRadesh Health Department Scam

Shimla-The Congress Party in Himachal Pradesh on June 4, 2020, submitted a memorandum to the Governor Bandaru Dattatraya demanding an enquiry by a sitting High Court Judge in the recent purchases of COVID-19 equipment made by the Health Department.

The Congress Delegation was led by HPCC President Kuldeep Singh Rathore along with Mukesh Agnihotri, Dr, Col. Dhani Ram Shandil, Jagat Singh Negi,  Nand Lal, Mohan Lal Brakta, Vinay Kumar, Vikram Aditya Singh and Ashish Butail.  

Congress claimed that it had highlighted the issue of massive corruption in the health department following which the Director Health Services was arrested. Eventually, when the Congress Party raised a hue and cry, it led to the resignation of State BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal, Congress claimed. Congress demanded a “White Paper” on the purchases made by the Health Department and the resignation of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur since he is also holds the charge of the Health Ministry.

Also Read : Vigilance Probe an Eyewash, ‘Medical Mafia’ Given Time to Destroy Evidence, Alleges CPI(M)

Yesterday, the HPCC had submitted memorandums to the Governor at district level through Deputy Commissioners.

In the second phase, the Congress Party has directed the senior leaders to conduct press conferences throughout the state from June 6 to  June 15, 2020. The sitting MLAs along with senior Congressmen would highlight the growing level of corruption in the Health Department at the behest of ruling BJP Govt, the party said. In the third phase, Congress Spokespersons would highlight this issue in their respective Districts.

Also Read: Accused ex-Director Granted Bail

The party said that its Social Media Cell would start a campaign under the hashtag  Health Corruption where the party office bearers, leaders and sympathizers would come online simultaneously at various social media platforms to highlight this issue among masses.

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