The European Union (EU) has approved Rs 7-cr city sanitation project for the Shimla Town along with capacity building and awareness in four other municipalities in Himachal Pradesh. Commissioner, Shimla Municipal Corporation MP Sood said
“EU officials intimated us yesterday that our city sanitation project has been approved and after fulfilling some formalities an agreement will be signed,”
Sood further added that under the project four municipal committees would also be covered with respect to capacity building and preparation of detailed project reports for the sanitation plan. The MCs selected for the purpose are Mandi, Dharamsala, Hamirpur and Nahan. Interestingly, the project will focus not just on capacity building as far as the sanitation aspect is concerned but will adopt one ward where vocational training will be provided to sanitation workers, ragpickers and their families in some other trade like carpet weaving, doll making or similar works. This will help in gainful employment to people who are at present only engaged in sanitation work.
The EU project will also cover treatment of waste water which will then be used for toilets, gardening and construction work as Shimla is plagued by water shortage, especially during the peak tourist season during the summers.
The Shimla was ranked at the 293rd position in a survey of 450 cities undertaken by the Urban Development Ministry in 2009. The EU project will hopefully help the Shimla regain some ground and emerge as a cleaner and better city.