Has the Model Code of Conduct come as a convenient excuse to the civic authorities for not dealing with the mounting complaints relating to the civic problems in this hill station where the summer tourist season has entered its busy phase.

This is the question doing the rounds among the residents in the district.

The residents want the authorities to set right the damaged footpaths, broken railings and potholes especially on the busy roads including the national highway. Regretting that footpaths continue to be neglected despite several representations, they pointed out that until about two decades ago they were the pride of the hill station. The Municipal Commissioner, K.Sivakumar, said that under a Rs. 30 crore Asian Development Bank funded scheme various beautification works would be taken up soon. Simultaneously proposals estimated to cost about Rs.15 crore are in the process of being prepared. They will include foot path improvements.

He assured that eviction of roadside encroachments will also be taken up. Adverting to a move to put up a parking lot on a piece of land near the Central Bus Stand here, he said that it will relieve pressure on the footpaths.

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