Today morning I was rudely awakened from slumber due to the ruckus creating by the monkeys on my roof and was immediately greeting by howling of several stray dogs – this howling assumed such an unpleasant crescendo that I could not sleep thereafter.
Lying in bed I realized what our town was 20 years ago and where it was heading today.
I remembered my childhood when we used to walk upto our school – St. George’s College, and today I have to accompany my son to his school van as he is afraid to venture out alone in this monkey and dog infested town.
I remembered the pleasant morning walks on the Camel’s back road which are not so pleasant today as one has to jump over the overflowing sewer at many places and also carry a stick to ward off monkeys and stray dogs.
I also mused about the condition of The Mall road – the heart of our beloved town. But like a heart patient whose arteries are clogged The Mall road is also ailing – with roadside encroachments and long queue of vendors and hawkers selling bhutta, noodles, momos and eggs. Some of my friends have rechristened it, and rightly so, as the “Anda Market” of Mussoorie.
What I find surprising is that the authorities are perhaps hand-in-glove with these hawkers/vendors. Whenever any official is on a visit to Mussoorie these hawkers mysteriously “disappear” just like they had disappeared 2 days ago and also last year when a Supreme Court judge was on a visit to Mussoorie.
Although our PM is emphasizing upon “Swacch Bharat” but I find no takers for Swacch Bharat in my town – the dirty roads of our town, the pre-historic garbage disposal systems, the open garbage bins littered across the town speak volumes of the efforts being made by the Municipal Board.
Upon arrival to Mussoorie the tourists are welcomed with long traffic jams in our town. Driving through the two bus/taxi stands and subsequently passing through Kincraig have become a nightmare – although perhaps this season things have been better only due to the efforts of our SHO. But then I am told that she is also constrained due to lack of police force at her disposal. However, I see no politicians making any effort to find a permanent solution to this problem. Lack of parking spaces and the resultant roadside parking – especially by the taxi owners – further aggravates the problem.
These negative thoughts have greatly disturbed me since morning and I thought of penning them down and sharing them with all residents of Mussoorie.
I also realize that municipal elections are around the corner and perhaps this is our last opportunity to save our beloved Mussoorie!
This time round let us use our franchise to vote for the right candidates – let us not be swayed by party lines or by personal equations with the various candidates. Let us not think of myopic gains but think of the long term interest of our town and vote wisely.
This is the only way we can restore the lost glory of our town and get a sound sleep!
*The author is a resident of Mussoorie and the editor of this news portal.