The municipal elections are done with and a new mayor,his deputy and all the councillors have taken charge. But,instead of a clean Shimla – the summer capital of the British during the Raj days – it is heaps of dirt,garbage and walls and street defaced by election posters and buntings that welcome tourists.
From the world famous Mall Road,to Jakhu hill or the buildings along the road from Kufri via Sanjauli,all the areas are plastered with election posters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and Congress candidates. In fact,posters with faces of the newly-installed mayor and his deputy,CPMs Sanjay Chauhan and Tikender Singh Panwar,out number those of former mayor,Congress Madhu Sood and of ruling BJPs candidates.
Till Wednesday,no efforts were made by the municipal corporation to remove the posters and graffiti dotting the public and private walls and streets. In fact,much of the job was done by the rain,which lashed the city late on Wednesday and Thursday and washed away some of the posters.
The new Mayor,Sanjay Chauhan admits that posters have made the city look dirty. Yes,it is true. We had planned to launch a special drive to remove the posters. But,as all us,including the newly elected councillors,are busy attending the orientation programme started by the government,the cleaning drive has been delayed.
Chauhan,however,added that the CPM posters were printed on low-grade paper,which gets easily dissolved in water. But the Congress posters,and probably those of BJP,were printed on high-grade paper.
The residents are now wondering why the district administration has not yet passed orders for the political parties to clean the walls and public places
I got some calls from a senior citizen and a mediaperson. There is no reason why these posters should stay,particularly when the elections are over and tourist season has set in. I will be writing to the commissioner,municipal corporation,to get the city cleaned, said Arun Sharma,the new Shimla deputy commissioner. Sharma also holds the charge of director,tourism.