Shimla MC says no to parks as youths say YES

Shimla based youth organisation Youth Enlightening the Society (YES) is fighting tooth and nail the state babudom for setting up parks in the town. Shimla as such do not have any recreational facilities likes park anywhere near any residential colonies.

YES has been very actively holding sessions with students of different schools in Shimla under it’s drug awareness campaign as cases of drug abuse among students are on the rise.

parks for shimlaAn astonishing fact that came up during the sessions was the majority of students said that they had no recreational activities and parents didn’t allow them to use either television or the computers for a long duration and the burden of studies was so much that they skipped the sports and physical developmental activities.

They said that there are no parks and recreational centres in and around their localities. I.G.Sports Complex and State Library were concentrated on the Mall which is too far for them from places like Totu, Phagli, Panthaghati, Dhalli, New Shimla etc. and was not possible for them to visit them on an every day basis.

An official of YES said they took concern of this issue and filed an RTI application with the Municipal Corporation Shimla seeking information about the developmental proposals of new parks and community centres under JNNURM, money that has been spent on development of parks and community centres under JNNURM and if they had any budget for these.

The reply received from the Municipal Corporation was astonishing and pathetic.

Don’t be surprised! The biggest number of stray dogs in Shimla can be found sleeping on the stairs leading to the doors of this Municipal Corporation.

The Municipal Corporation replied, ‘these activities namely parks and community centres do not fall under the preview of JNNURM and the proposed budget for the parks and new community centres is NIL.’

No one from the Municipal Corporation has bothered to check the mission statement of the JNNURM. The Municipal Corporation is administratively headed by a IAS officer though. The Burra Sahib should have at least bothered to read the JNNURM misson statement.

For the record, JNNURM mission statement can be read here. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of English can understand what all JNNURM mission is all about. It is clearly mentioned that the developmental proposals for developing community centres fall under the preview of JNNURM

Hoping the Shimla Municipal Corporation to act is like wishing sun rising from the west. List of the MC messing up the city is very long. We do not get water in summers as the sources dry up. We do not get water in rainy season as the water sources get filled with silt. Add to this, our water sources can spread cholera.

We do not have footpaths in town. We do not have decent roads where we can drive our vehicles. We do not have space to park these vehicles as there are not enough parking lots in the city and whatever are there have been given to contractors who charge as per their wish. We do not have space to walk in city bazaars as hawkers occupy half the road and other half is occupied by the shopkeepers by extending their shops.

YES has identified certain places all over the town where parks can be developed for the students and the elderly who face a tough time going for a walk in the morning or evening due to bad condition of the roads and heavy traffic.

Shimla Municipal Corporation too suffer from the same mai-baap attitude which plagues our entire sarkari establishments. If you are from Shimla and reading this or if you ever been to Shimla and have heard / read the romanticised versions which our fore-fathers use to tell about this town, please support YES for this cause.

Please write in your suggestions below in the comments or send us an e-mail to news (at) himachallive (dot) com and we will forward these to YES and the concerned authorities to take some action.

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5 Responses to "Shimla MC says no to parks as youths say YES"

  1. Veronika   September 18, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Shimla is one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever seen. Sure, there are the problems faced by most old towns, in that they were built in days where traffic was less. Now it is difficult to accommodate all these vehicles into the narrow winding lanes. Population has increased enourmously, with huge demands on the natural resources, especially water.

    I imagine it would be a complicated task for the municipal council to balance all these issues within the given budget.

    Certainly, it is important for elderly residents, for youth and everyone, to have easy access to safe green recreation facilities.

    Additionally, parks, trees and nature reserves greatly enhance the natural beauty of a town, which is worth more than any new apartment block or factory. The beauty of a town and well-being of its citizens is priceless.

  2. N S Tanwar   September 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    There is plenty of Shimla MC land / area around populated areas in Tutu, Boileauganj, Tuti Kandi , Nabha Estate, Phagli, Ramnagar, Lalpani, Lakkar Bazar… and so on, in Shimla. With the involvement of Shimla MC, Forest Department and local people and youth, some part of these idle lands can be developed as parks for children and aged persons, to use and enjoy for recreation and maintaingood health. Concrete efforts in this direction by all will bring fruitful results. Let us work and move together in this direction

    N S Tanwar
    New Delhi

  3. anu sharma   September 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Shimla once upon a beautiful hill town is steadily turning into a concrete jungle…It pains me…there is no vision…roads that were so beautiful…are pathetic today…I appreciate your effort…i hope your efforts bring fruits.!!

  4. Aakarshan Chauhan   September 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    YES we can fly high.
    The need of parks and recreational centres is a must in the Queen of Hills. The town which was once known for its beauty is today known for the concrete jungle, hapazard construction, trffic jams and shortage of water.
    The students which are part of this town and future have literally no space to express themselves and we being a youth oriented organization took this cause and I’m overwhelmed by the support we are getting from the common public and the student community but unfortunately not from the “sarkari babus” but now we have the support of the Hon’ble High Court of Himachal which has admitted a PIL on the development of parks in Shimla on the letter written by a 10 year old girl.
    We now need to fight till the end and from the legal point as well because our opponent is the system which in a way has to be mentored by mass support and pressure has to be maintained. Unfortunately earlier we didn’t had the support from any section but i’m hopefull that slowly and steadly everyone will come forward and join YES in this cause.
    YES we all can win and this win will be the win of all students.
    PLEASE SUPPORT in what ever manner you can, write letters, speak to your friends, come out and make it a mass movement a historical one. In YES we all are students and without the support of general public we will not be able to sustain this fight.
    YES(Youth Enlightening the Society)

  5. Bijan arora   October 1, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Kudos to YES. May be one day it will save Shimla from apathy of Govt organizations whether its MC or CPWD or Forest or Shimla Development Authority. New Shimla and Vikasnagar are eyesore and do not follow proper town planning and hill architecture at all. Sanjauli and Cemetry look like Slums. All because of Incompetence and lack of accountability in Govt. departments. And then it’s not all Government, we the people are selfish too. Eventually it always comes down to be a law abiding good citizen and it will have to be a collective effort if we want to save Shimla or Himachal or India in that case.


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