Shimla residents stage protest, ask MC to waive ‘inflated’ bills
The members of Shimla Nagrik Sabha (SNS) on Monday staged a protest outside the offices of Shimla municipal corporation and deputy commissioner demanding the civic body to waive the “inflated” water and garbage collection bills charged during the coronavirus pandemic.
SNS secretary Kapil Sharma said around 70% people in Shimla have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and the state government and MC have not provided any financial assistance to such persons.
“Businesses of thousands of street vendors and small traders have been shut, while the salesmen working in shops and showrooms have lost their jobs and are struggling to meet their basic needs,” he added.
Sharma said that instead of giving relaxations to the financially-hit residents, the MC slapped inflated bills in the form of garbage collection and water use charges. Even the closed rented accommodations are being unnecessarily being charged every month and the landlords are being pressurised to pay up, adding to their monetary woes, he rued.
The residents’ body will intensify its movement if their demands are not fulfilled immediately, the SNS secretary warned.
Apart from this, the other demands of the SNS include rationalisation of civic bills of paying guests, gymnasium, street vendors and other small shopkeepers; no hiking of garbage and water bills by 10% every year; no 10% late charges for water bills; slashing parking charges; withdrawal of property tax rates for municipal shops, stalls, warehouses owing to coronavirus; waiver of garbage collection and water bills from landlords whose tenants have left to their native places; 20,000 litres of water should be provided free on the lines of Delhi.