Former Deputy Mayor initiates ‘fast’ to Salvage Shimla from unsustainable development
Shimla, Aug 20
Former Deputy Mayor of Shimla, Tikender Singh Panwar, following the footsteps of Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh has initiated a 24 hour climate fast campaign to protect Shimla, the capital town of Himachal Pradesh from unsustainable development.
Panwar, who was elected as Deputy Mayor in a direct election for the Shimla Municipal Corporation from CPI(M), began a 24-hour climate fast on the historic Ridge at Shimla on Sunday, starting at 14:30 hrs on Sunday. He introduced a new slogan, ‘Himachal mein Vikas Model ka Atamnarikshan Karne’ (Self-Introspection of Himachal’s Development Model), as he voiced his concern over the distressed state of the hills. He observed rampant landslides, loss of life, deforestation, and road blockages in the state capital. He attributed this devastation to the flawed approach of handing over Shimla town and the state to construction companies, resulting in ruin at the cost of substantial public funds. Panwar emphasized that the prevailing development model, coupled with climate change, has made Shimla vulnerable to such disasters.
Recently, Panwar also lodged an FIR against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and a private company for their disregard of environmental norms, leading to the destruction of the Parwanoo to Solan four-lane stretch. His call for a 24-hour climate fast aims to garner support from the residents of the town and the state, rallying them behind the cause of preserving nature and opposing the ongoing destructive construction practices. He stressed the need to hold the four-lane companies and NHAI accountable for their role in the devastation and urged for the declaration of the ongoing natural disaster as a national calamity. He also advocated for an evaluation of government failures and water resource mismanagement in Shimla.
Panwar demanded the establishment of a probe panel led by a retired Supreme Court judge to assess the extent of damage and formulate planning policies for the town. He also called for the creation of a task force to oversee construction in the hilly terrain.
The climate fast is set to continue for the next 24 hours on the Ridge ground near the Rainshelter, stated Tikender.
In February of this year, a similar climate fast was organized by Sonam Wangchuk, aimed at safeguarding the Ladakh region.
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