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Renowned Himachal Pradesh poet S. R. Harnot today demanded to protect the heritage Ridge ground built by the Britishers about 107 years ago due to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) after declaring it National monument. Showing deep pain over the frequent hooliganism on the frequent public meeting, political rallies, annual Summer festivals and other events Mr. Harnot blew the whistle stating that it is high time to declare Ridge ground the national monuments due to OUV.
Raising this issue in the media, the poet said in press statement issued today that without the existence of Ridge one could not imagine this capital town Shimla which is world tourist destination. The poet said that Shimla is intact owing to the natural beauty, Grace and Sanity of Ridge ground and Mall road as it built by the Britishers about hundreds years while constructing mason work water storage tank under it. Baring the Ridge and Mall road, there are hardly any place in the town which were not eroded and lost its OUV, heritage value and old glory today.
The thousands of tourist daily visit this place from abroad and other part of country especially during Summer season. He said that they mostly prefer to roam on the Ridge and Mall road as two were most favorite among them in the town due to unique climate or cool bridge blowing on it every item. ‘Mr. Harnot who wrote several books on the old and caving in heritage building of town asserted that as the ground took over for public meeting like recent Rally of Prime Minister or incoming Summer festival tourists and local commuters have brave the massive rush with congestion of venue during the event.
Heavy congregations not only loosing its glory however the mason work supporting the heavy concrete surcharges of Ridge ground started sinking and caving in at the North side from DAV School to Civil Center near the Tibetan market, he noted. He said that Raj day tanks and part of Ridge were sinking at one side as fissure have been developed at one end. He blamed the Administration in spite of sorting out the issue and it was busy to how to undermining the issues of developing of cracks.
He said that in the month of May and June these places especially ridge filled to its maximum capacity however administration which organised the Summer festival almost seize over the place from local and tourists. Poet who is living in the town since his child hood demanded that it was high time to ban political rallies or shifts Summer festival from here keeping the vulnerability of Ridge or its importance for the tourists and local. He said that Administrations negligence to sort out the issue eroding the OUV of the town and causing the massive problem to commuters who used to cross this ground towards other parts of town.
He said that Summer festival is also losing the sensitivity of place however Summer festival which was famous in past almost lost its glory owing to boom in the communications and entertainment media. During the annual Summer festival Ridge ground often occupied by the large number of chairs, barricades and heavy steel structure raised on the stage turning this place in to a fish markets. High decibel noise and beating of drum not only shake the frail structure but vulgar songs and dancing of people under the spell of liquor before the historic busts of Mahatma Gandhi disgrace its glory.
People come here to take glimpses of peace, cold, open air and its panoramic views at the top of hills however every inch of it covered by the hooligan crowds. He said that artists who were being invited in the Summer festival found normally performed on the Y-tube, TB and other small screen daily however local artists who were pressing to organize the festival could be shifted to the Historic Gaiety Theater or Ice Skating Rink as it draw very thin crowd.
Giving clarion call to stop the ground and mall road for all type of events Poet said that place should be preserve or protect so that tourists or local people could take deep breath here as the place located on the such place where water coming out of it flow to Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea. Rain water of this Ridge ground flow into the canals or rivulets recharging Satluj River on the North side into Indus valley however water flows on the south enter into Ganges river civilization, the bard said in emotional appeal urging the local and State Government.