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.
An 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.