Unforgettable Himachal: Kotkhai in chaos


By: Pankaj Dogra

Kotkhai: Known as the apple bowl of Himachal Pradesh, Kotkhai is an important trading centre in the state with huge quantity of apple being produced here. But the infrastructure available here is hardly in sync with its cas=p[-0;.h richness and the administration cares the least about doing anything. The place is a living example of the fact that money alone cannot bring about development as it’s the attitude that matters. Here neither the government, not the people think they need change. Therefore, though roads have reached almost all parts of Kotkhai, everything seems so disorganized and discouraging out here.
Take the example of the most happening place out here – the Kotkhai main bazaar and the adjoining bus stand.

The law:
The first thing I come across is that there are no men in uniform. (Traffic police of course). The traffic here is growing day by day and long jams are getting common. People shout at each other but the traffic cop is nowhere to be seen. A single cop is enough to assure people here, but who cares. The last time I happened to see cops in the market was on Holi, and never after…till date.

To my astonishment, the Kotkhai bus stand has more private vehicles then buses and therefore every time a bus has to enter or leave the place it takes around 10 to 15 minutes to do so. Daily there are around 30 private-owned vehicles in the bus stand and no there is no place for government buses. I would say the Kotkhai bus stand is no more a bus stand for government vehicles but more of a taxi farm.

Public toilets:
My gosh…! It smells nasty at the bus stand because there are no provisions out here for public urinals. People (men of course) are passing urine at any damn place…may it be on roadside or beside the hand pump. Full of garbage, offensive smell, loud music playing all around, vehicle horns… where is the administration?

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  1. Money alone cannot bring civic sense. People have become used to it. This is true across Himachal Pradesh right from capital city, Shimla to far flung areas. The concepts of basic hygiene, sanitation and safe drinking water have become less important to the people in a state, where everyone is engulfed in prime occupation of politics of one form or the other.

    Political leadership and administration are the reflections of same society. We all realize these issues, when we personally face difficulty. But the whole web of system does not evolve any solution. Public services have become den on corruption/delays/negligence/zero accountability/ nuisance and so on. Imagine, about five big officials caught red handed within two months and that too when they crossed limits and some dynamic people approached vigilance. The pain of harassment by such officials in terms of delays is much bigger than the monetary demands.

    The meaning of job is security and that of duty is seen prerogative. We really need to develop some sort of radicalism within to find solutions, ourselves. Surely, telling people about false self praises is one such effort.

    Well done..

  2. Good work Mr.Pankaj Dogra..!

    Sitting away from my birth place iam here in hot Kerala, found it very cool that some guys are really bothered about this very place.

    Surrounded with places like Theog, Rampur, Rohru…but Kotkhai is a place that is still striving to develop.

    I agree money cant bring social well being but yes a little contribution from the administration can do magic.

    No provisions for public urinals at bus-stand? Hah ! So annoying. People arrive from far places and get down at bus-stands only and soon after holding so long everyone rush for a urinal to release this tension ! !

    Whats wrong with gentlemen out there in Kotkhai administration ?

    Ofcourse, presence of a single cop is enough to assure gentle people that they are safe in the market.

    I really agree for whatever u tried to express.

    Gud work dude.

  3. Sad but true !! Apples have brought money and prosperity, but civic sense and ethics are still a concept unheard of and unapplicable here.

  4. some very true observations in this article. though, it may sound a little harsh but, this article paints us INDIANS in our true colours. the people in administration, in politics, in police or in whichever branch of system we enjoy to curse come from this very society, so if we want to change anything, we should first change ourselves. charity begins at home. good work Punk for showing us the mirror.

  5. We're supposed to be culturally-rich. What culture? Men taking a piss on the street in broad day light? This was what it all looked like ten years back. Nothing's changed.

  6. Great work Pankaj – do whatever you can can, on your part, it makes a difference. Thanks for this article.

  7. Well done!!

    All that you have jotted is correct. Actually the problem is that people there have become used to all this. The reason why you can make comparison is that you have experienced much better environment. For local people in Kothkhai its all cool. Things will change when every common man will come out of that place and will see the world outside and we are very much sure that changes will happen soon. Administration will awake only when common man will give them jerks.

    Best Regards

    Kuldeep Chauhan

  8. I love kotkhai. Iam studying at st.Stephens Delhi.
    Gud work Pankaj, i guess u r really wise. Kotkhai people wake up…use toilets guys !

  9. So sad to read all this chaos in Kotkhai and of course for that matter in all over India. Cleanliness and the toilets are the least priorties for us which is sad and pathetic and of course shameful. Roads are in such a bad condition and in process lots of local people loose their lives which is such a great loss for their families and sometimes he is the only earner in the family too and so on…..list goes on and on….Hope our people wake up and clean this mess for ever…

  10. This is simply bad governance. Govt has declared so many panchayats free from open defecation. Mine too. As per govt record whole of my Block has toilets with every home and the concerned BDO was also rewarded for the same sometimes back. While in the morning, family members of at least 7-8 houses visible from my window can be seen going for defecation in the open with bottles in their hands. Everybody knows that toilet facilities, dry or wet, are not available with them and hence they have no other option. Such cases in whole of the panchayats/Block might be many more but  the Pradhan/BDO has been rewarded and the public representatives got published photographs in newspapers for their ‘achievement’!  So this is what the govt boasts and the ground  realities.

  11. This place is the back bone of Himachal apple industry . I love Kotkhai but there is very big problem of traffic system space is so congested there is no space to driving and people are not parking a vehicles in a proper way.We do not have footpaths . We do not have decent roads where we can drive our vehicles. We do not have space to park these vehicles as there are not enough parking . We do not have space to walk in city bazaars as hawkers occupy half the road and other half is occupied by the shopkeepers by extending their shops. a proper way other people trouble .I imagine it would be a complicated task for the people of kotkhai but it can be possible if they take action regarding this.

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