Palampur – Panchayat areas adjoining this important town of the state are crying for the immediate attention of the authorities as pot holed roads and streets, overflowing drains and contaminated drinking water tell the tale of these areas which are fast turning into a big slum.
Despite the fact that there has been manifold increase in the population, the state government has failed to include these areas in the Municipal Council of Palampur. At present only ten percent area of the town comprising population of 4000 falls in the Municipal Limits. Over 35000 population live outside the Municipal limits in five Panchyats Ghuggar, Aima, Bindravan, Lohana and Bindravan which has been neglected by the government. In fact the town has become the victim of dirty politics.
Almost all the interior streets are in bad shape. Due to over flowing of drains in rainy season the water collects on the streets making it difficult for the resident to move. The roads and streets dug up for laying water supply pipes, telephone cables and sewerage pipes in Ghuggar, Tikka Aima and Bundla are yet to be repaired. The two most busy Ram Chowk- Palampur and Cinema roads leading to the town and inter-state bus terminal are in the worst condition where road dug up for laying pipes a year ago has not been repaired by the PWD.
The heaps of garbage can be seen in every nook and corner of the town emitting foul smell all the times. In many areas garbage is not removed for days together. The situation in the internal parts of the town is no better as the panchyat has no resources to maintain the cleanliness resulting in huge garbage dumps on the road side at Ghuggar, SSB Chowk, Aima, Bundla and Chokki Khalet. Even in Municipal areas the things are no better.
The unplanned and haphazard construction of housing colonies in the town has become quite common. Since all these colonies have been coming up in the panchyat areas, it lacks all basic amenities like, street lights, roads, sewerage and drinking water supply. In the absence of any appropriate authority to deal with the planning of the town, there has been mushroom growth of colonies and concrete jungles are coming up and this beautiful hill station thus turning into slums. Although the state government has brought this town under the purview of H..P. Town and Country Planning Act. but it too has failed to improve the situation. Number of houses and shops in the town has come up without the prior approval of town and country planning department.
The stray animals cause lot of inconvenience to the general public here. The pigs and other stray animals can be seen roaming in the town. These animals feed on heaps of garbage in different parts of the town. The complaints made to local administration, particularly the municipal authorities have yielded no fruitful results. No efforts are made to impound these animal.
No funds are provided to the panchyats for the development their areas. Even the panchyat have no means to remove the garbage dumps . Huge garbage dumps are seen emitting foul smell all the times.
The long outstanding demand of the local residents for the extension of municipal limits is yet to be accepted. At present only 20 percent area of the town is governed by the municipal council and remaining 80 percent falls in panchyats.
A senior journalist from Palampur.