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Shimla: Endless traffic jams and water scarcity add to the woes of the residents and tourists

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Shimla: Shimla, that was once known as the Queen of Hills, is plagued by water scarcity, traffic chaos and haphazard construction. Driving in the city is nothing short of a nightmare and tests your patience. Pleasant weather, however, remains one of its prime attractions.

Umesh Ghrera, a journalist with a Chandigarh-based English daily, who was brought up in Shimla, described the problems of the hill destination, known for wooded deodars and Raj-style structures. Ghrera, who was holidaying with his family here, said the biggest issue in Shimla was the limited space for parking.

“You may be willing to shell out hundreds of rupees but may still not find parking space. It’s high time the government took some drastic steps to improve the situation. Or else Shimla will not be worth living in,” Ghrera told a media outlet.

Another tourist, Abhimanyu Sethi from Delhi, complained: “There is no water in the hotel. I have seen the first destination in the country where the hotel has rationed water supply.”

He said he was charged Rs.100 for an extra bucket of water provided by his hotel.

Locals say Shimla faces water scarcity in both summer and winter.

The latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General that highlights the inadequacies of the Shimla Municipal Corporation, says the city was getting water only for 1.2 hours a day against the 24-hour norm.

Even the water supplied is less than the prescribed limit of 135 litres per capita per day, it said. From 2009-14, the corporation had supplied 110 litres per capita per day.

Official sources said the normal demand of the city is 42 million litres daily, but the availability ranged from 35-37 million litres.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on water shortage, Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, directed the state government to file a status report and complete data on the actual amount of water supplied by it last month in Shimla.

It also sought to know the steps taken by the government to identify additional water sources so as to mitigate the problem of water shortage.

The court, which listed the matter for a June 29 hearing, observed that successive governments and municipal corporations had failed to mitigate the problem of water shortage, which now is a common feature round the year.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Vidya Stokes, said that ensuring round-the-clock supply of water to the people of Shimla was the top priority of the government.

Stokes told a media outlet that detailed project reports for a water supply scheme to Shimla from the Kol Dam near Tatapani, rehabilitation of water supply distribution system and rejuvenation of sewerage network, totaling up to Rs.643.05 crores had got technical clearance from the central government.

Planned for a maximum population of 16,000 during the British Raj, Shimla is now home to 170,000 people.

According to tourism industry representatives, Shimla gets 20,000-30,000 tourists on an average every weekend during the peak season — from May to June and November to January.

Urban Development Minister, Sudhir Sharma, said to check traffic jams, the department was constructing a 3.5 km ropeway, the first major ropeway project in the state capital.

Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, laid the foundation stone of the Rs 200-crore ropeway project on June 23, that will link the new bus stand with Jodha Niwas above the Mall road.

Usha Breco Ltd, which will commission the project, said the ropeway would carry about 1,000 passengers in one-hour time and it was aiming to transport about 1.5 million passengers in a year.

The agreement between the government and the company was signed on the built-operate-and-transfer basis for 40 years.

Himachal Pradesh’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, besides hydroelectric power and horticulture. (IANS)

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Most Famous Railway Stations Of India

Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history

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India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Indian Railways is one of the biggest railways networks in the world
  • India has railways stations which are famous for various reasons
  • Indian railways stations are famous for various reasons from being beautiful to being a haunting place

India has one of the biggest railways departments in the world. And also, one of the largest numbers of railway stations as well. Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history.

Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons
Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons

Railways have a huge behind the increasing Indian economy, the revenue generated is huge. Railways were introduced by Britishers in India and since then it has become of the biggest assets of India. They are not only a mode of transportation but also have a huge historical background.

Here is the list of some of the most famous Indian Railway Station.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) or the Victoria Terminus (VT) as it popularly known is in Mumbai. It is one of the largest railways stations in India. It is also one of the most famous and has found a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its magnificent gothic architecture. The station was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railways stations in India. Wikimedia Commons
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railway’s stations in India. Wikimedia Commons

Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station

It is one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. It has 9 platforms and other 4 which are under construction. The Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station has a magnificent architectural masterpiece. It was built in 20th century by the British and looks more like a monument than a railway station. It is one of the two major railways stations in Lucknow and is well-connected to the whole country.

Also Read: Indian Railways to use artificial intelligence

Howrah Junction 

Howrah Junction in Kolkata is the oldest railway station in India. It is also one of the largest railway stations in India with 23 platforms. Howrah Junction can handle more trains than any other Indian railway station. Despite being renovated several times, it still holds the magnificence of the British and Bengali architecture.

Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons
Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons

Cuttack Railway Station
Cuttack is a city in Odisha. The Cuttack Railway Station in Odisha is one of the most beautiful and cleanest Indian railway stations. This railway station is famous for its architecture which is said to be inspired by the Barabati Fort, which is located in the Kalinga region of Odisha.

Vijayawada Junction Railway Station

Vijayawada Junction is one of the largest railway stations in India and is situated in Andhra Pradesh. It was constructed in 1888 and is famous for its architecture. It is also one of the busiest railway stations in India. It is also famous for its white structure.

Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Begunkodor Railway Station

Begunkodor Railway Station is in West Bengal. This station us famous because it is said to be haunted. Due to this, the station has been abandoned for 42 years. The station is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman draped in a white sarees.

Also Read: Facts about Indian Railways you can’t miss

New Delhi Railway Station

New Delhi Railway Station is one of the largest railway stations in New Delhi and India. It is also the main railway station of Delhi. The railway station situated between the areas of Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj and sees the one of the largest crowd of commuters.

New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

Barog Railway Station

Barog in Himachal Pradesh is a little railway station which is famous for its elaborate history. The railway station is surrounded by beautiful mountains. It is also famous for the ghost of its engineer which is said to be haunting the railway station. The station is also famous because of various folklores surrounding it.