Shimla shows the way to curb spitting in public
Spitting in public is an offence under municipal laws in various cities with Shimla being the first to ban it way back in 2007. On Wednesday, the Union home ministry made spitting in public a punishable offence under the strict Disaster Management Act in its revised guidelines for the lockdown to contain Covid-19 but implementation holds the key.
Spitting on roads in Shimla was banned after the Himachal Pradesh high court’s order in 2007 that led to the civic authorities putting up signboards on the Mall, fining those spitting and smoking in public between Rs 50 and Rs 500.
Initially, many were fined but gradually the change set in and the number of roadside vendors selling cigarettes and betel nut (paan) came down from over a dozen to three on the Mall.
“In the initial years, a lot of people were challaned but the number of violators has come down significantly,” says municipal health officer Dr Surekha Chopra. “Though we don’t have a record for this, the Himachal Pradesh government is implementing World Health Organisation guidelines, banning people from spitting in public places to curb transmission Covid-19,” she said.
Three days after at least four unidentified men robbed a Mahindra XUV 500 owned by a Shimla resident on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, police on Monday arrested a suspect from Haridwar for his alleged involvement in the case. The accused, Vikas Mann of Karnal's Bala village, claims to be a law-graduate from a private university in Mohali and practising at Punjab and Haryana high court.
While rain and thunderstorm brought respite from the scorching heat, residents had to contend with long power outages across the district on Monday. With the high-velocity winds uprooting trees and branches power cuts, extending up to 12 hours were, witnessed in Model Town, BRS Nagar, Anand Nagar, Dugri, Giaspura, Sarabha Nagar, Civil Lines, Jalandhar Bypass, Industrial Area, Basant Avenue, Dholewal, Chandigarh Road, and Gill Road among other areas.
While the city had received negligible (0.8mm) rainfall in March, it recorded no precipitation in April. The showers and winds, blowing at a speed of 50 to 60 kilometres per hour, brought down the city's maximum temperature, which was recorded at 41.2C on Sunday, to 30.5C. While the maximum temperature dropped by 10.7 degrees, the minimum temperature dropped around eight notches, settling at 18.4C. The city usually records an average rainfall of 23.3mm in May.
Panchkula is set to be at the sporting centre stage between June 4 and 13, with the city hosting the 4th Khelo India Youth Games that will see the participation of more than 8,000 U-18 athletes. Preparations are in full swing across Haryana, with the games — which were postponed due to the Covid pandemic twice — scheduled to be played in five cities including Ambala, Shahbad, Delhi, Chandigarh and Panchkula.
Demanding a special package for Himachal, state Congress president and Mandi MP Pratibha Singh on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn't fulfilled promises and announcements made to the people of the state in his eight-year tenure. On the police constable recruitment case, Pratibha said that the investigations in the case were lax and it seems the government was passing time in the name of investigations.