Every Wednesday

Who’ll bridge the gap?
Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh belt bridges are on verge of collapse
Ambika Sharma
Notwithstanding budgetary provisions worth crores for the repair of bridges, it is the little progress in the strengthening and protection work of the bridges that has been causing widespread damage to several bridges in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh belt. Destined for Doom   — Photo by Rana Destined for Doom


The weak links
Most bridges on Shimla, Hamirpur, Kangra stretch are as old as free India
Dharam Prakash Gupta

the administration has still not been able to restore road link on Hamirpur-Mandi road over Seer Khad near Jahu (after this bridge was washed away on August 12), there are many other bridges, which can collapse any time. In case of any such eventuality, normal life would be affected, besides the state exchequer suffering great financial loss

The Jahu bridge which was washed away on August 12 — Photo by Dharam Prakash Gupta

Go travel
Charming Chitkul
Chitkul might be the last village in this part of the world, but it’s poised to become one of the hottest tourist destinations 
itender Kaushik
It’s the last and the highest human settlement on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade road in the Baspa valley of Kinnaur district, but on a bright sunny Monday morning, Chitkul is abuzz with activity. Construction workers from Bihar are giving final touches to a rooftop transparent restaurant. At the nearby Thakur Guest House, Israeli tourists are belting out Pink Floyd numbers.

The breathtaking valley of Baspa. — Photo by Jintender Kaushik
The breathtaking valley of Baspa.

See you at Pappi’s!
The 1980-model Pappi dhaba is still a rage among Shimla’s hep crowd
Dheeraj Bhaik

is the most densely populated suburb of Shimla and is divided into famous localities of Engine Ghar, North Oak, main market and the cemetery. Located near the entrance of Engine Ghar is Pappi’s dhaba, the landmark of Sanjauli. It caters to the crowd of St. Bedes College, Medical College and Government Degree College. The dhaba was set up in 1980 by Pappi and his two brothers — Babbi and Raja.  — Photo by S. Chandan

Our Own Bond
Ruskin Bond, who transforms the solitude of the hills into words,  is in the news again for his national award winner The Blue Umbrella
by Shriniwas Joshi

most famous Bond in Himachal Pradesh is Brooke Bond-Red label, followed by James Bond of 007 fame and last comes Ruskin Bond, Padmashri, the English author who has settled at Landour in Mussorie since 1962 and writes, generally for children. He has recently come into prominence because a film based on his novella The Blue Umbrella has won the national award for the best children’s film. 

Under Bollywood’s Umbrella
Bond’s Biniya gives wings to Shreya’s dreams, says Pratibha Chauhan
many would know and probably believe that the little girl who plays the lead character in the film Blue Umbrella is our very own girl from Shimla. Not even 14, young Shreya Sharma plays the lead role of Biniya in the movie that’s won a national award even before its release on August 10.

Towards cleanliness & health
The state could be the country’s first open defecation free state by 2012, if the Total Sanitation Campaign is turned into a mass movement 
Kuldeep Chauhan
HE vision to see the state as the first open defecation free (ODF) state in the country by 2012 is nothing short of a Himalayan task. As part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) launched in 1999, till date, 250 of the 3,243 panchayats have been declared as ODF in the past eight years. The main implanting agency-District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) is yet to turn TSC into a mass movement.


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Repository of valour
Nestled among majestic deodars of Shimla, India’s only Army Heritage Museum promises a peep into a realm of courage and sacrifice
Pratibha Chauhan
A visit to the Army Heritage Museum would certainly inspire many to join the armed forces. For, located amidst towering deodars at Annadale, this one-of-its-kind-museum in the country is a repository of the rich army heritage and traditions. Besides portraying the valour, sacrifice, loyalty, commitment and patriotism that goes into making a valiant soldier, the Army Heritage Museum also gives an insight into the historic events that took place in Shimla, which to a great extent, shaped the destiny of present India during the freedom struggle.
— Photo by S. Chandan

shimla Diary
Crafted to contemporary taste 
Rakesh Lohumi

HE  rain-drenched forests of the northeastern region are famous for high quality bamboo and cane. A source of livelihood for the local craftsmen, the wickerwork items stood out at the exhibition-cum-sale at the local Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. The tropical flora and fauna has contributed in a large way to the occupation, art and crafts of the region. In fact, cane and bamboo being abundant have become the main stay in almost every sphere of life of the people. Of late, the craftsmen have crafted items to suit modern tastes and preferences.

The trail of destruction
Haphazard urbanisation and lack of a comprehensive environmental policy have taken its toll on the fragile eco-system 
Rakesh Lohumi

deficient rains in July there has been a spate of cloudbursts and flashfloods last week, which left a trail of devastation of misery in the hill state. As many as 86 persons have perished and public and private property worth over Rs 1,200 crore has been destroyed.

Depleted forests around Nahan. A fight for rights
Govt promises to protect the traditional timber distribution right
S. R. Pundir

HE fight to save trees is still on. Going back in history, it was the judiciary, which gave people the right to fell trees in the beginning of 80’s. Over the years the fight cooled down, till the judiciary decided once again to provide protection to the green cover.

Depleted forests around Nahan. — Tribune Photo

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