Shimla’s historic Ridge again caves in


By: ML Verma

Shimla: A portion of the historic Ridge in Shimla once again caved in on Sunday due to heavy rains in the region for the past few days.

“Around 40 metres of the Ridge in front of the famous Gaiety Theatre caved in again by more than six feet. It was the same portion that developed cracks last month too,” said Subhash Chand, sub-divisional officer with the civic authorities, told HimVani. He said the portion was repaired but overnight heavy rains again weakened the foundation of the Ridge.

“The affected portion has been closed for pedestrians but it does not threaten the entire Ridge,” he said. Another official said the caved-in portion has also threatened the existence of another British landmark, the newly renovated Gaiety Theatre. “The green room and the dinning hall of the Gaiety Theatre that lies close to the affected portion are also under threat,” he added.

“The problem has its genesis in the haphazard construction below the Ridge, mainly by shopkeepers in the Tibetan market,” assistant municipal commissioner KK Sharma said. “The structures have blocked the natural flow of rainwater, resulting in accumulation of mud. Over the years, the strata has become fragile and started caving in at one point or the other,” he said.

Major cracks had appeared on the Ridge in 2008 as well when about 20 shops of the Tibetan market collapsed due to heavy rains. Shimla has been receiving continuous rainfall for the past few days. Shimla bypass road remains disrupted for many hours as a heavy uprooted tree came over it at Lalpani this morning. An apple-loaded truck parked on the Shimla bypass road at Vikasnagar fell down as the road on which it was parked caved in after heavy rainfall this afternoon. About half dozen vehicles were also damaged in Sanjauli outskirt as another tree came over the parking cars beside the road this morning.

Shimla had highest 60 mm rainfall in the state, Jubbarhatti 33mm, Kotkhai and Theog 18 mm and Jubal 7 mm. Dharamsala in Kangra had 55.2 mm, Sundernagar 28.5 mm, Baldwara in Mandi 26 mm, Mandi town 24 mm, Kullu 18 mm and Jhungi 5 mm.

The met office said that rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at isolated part of Himachal Pradesh during next 24 hours.

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