Himachal Tourism asks MC to construct toilets or return funds

Shimla: With the municipal corporation here unable to execute funded projects in time, tourism department has threatened to withdraw Rs 50 lakh deposited for constructing public conveniences in the city.

After a review meeting, director tourism and civil aviation, Arun Sharma said funds had been deposited with the municipal corporation but no work to date had started. He said Rs 50 lakhs had been released for construction of toilets at New Shimla, Victory Tunnel, Sanjauli and Vikasnagar.

Besides that funds had also been provided for high mast lighting at various places including Lakkar Bazar and Bus Stand and laser lighting Chaura Maidan and Doordarshan Kendra but execution was yet to get started.

The tourism department was now asking the municipal corporation to either execute the work at the earliest or return the money so that it could execute these schemes from some other agency, said Sharma.

About the heli-taxi service, he said that it was demand driven service and joy rides in Manali were being organized on demand from tourists from time to time.

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  1. A word of caution from the Himachal Pradesh government for its employees. They can lose their annual increment, face penalty and be charge-sheeted if they do not have a toilet at their homes.

    With a view to make Total Sanitation Campaign Scheme a result-oriented drive, the Chamba administration instructed all its government employees to ensure that they construct a toilet in their homes if they wanted to avoid penalties and departmental action against them.

    Thousands of government employees across Chamba didn’t have toilets in their homes. As a result, men and women go out in open to defecate creating insanitation that could result in spread of various diseases said Chamba deputy commissioner Devesh Kumar while talking to TOI over phone on Monday.

    Kumar said he had sought the data of all the employees, a majority of them class IV, whose houses were without this most basic amenity.

    They had been instructed to construct a toilet at their home and if they didn’t follow the orders then action would be taken against them under conduct rules. Any behaviour which was unbecoming of a public servant wouldn’t be tolerated, he added. “They can face penalty, their increment could be stopped,” he said.

    He added that the departments with big establishments like education, health, public works, irrigation and public health, forest, rural development and social justice and empowerment had been directed to ascertain the names of defaulting employees and take appropriate action.

    He said the administration had launched the drive to make the district “Open Defecation Free” under the Total Sanitation Campaign Scheme, which was aimed at ensuring sanitation facilities in rural areas to eradicate open defecation.

    The deputy commissioner added that the officials of rural development department would conduct a survey to ensure that all the employees who didn’t have toilets at their homes had constructed one. “It is a small amount of around Rs 1,000 which is required to make provision of a toilet in home,” he said.

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