By: ML Verma
Shimla (Dec 2): Sudden fall in night temperature has brought cheers on the faces of skaters in the town as a thick layer of ice has enveloped country’s only natural ice skating rink here.
Simla Ice Skating Club secretary Bhuvnesh Banga told HimVani that since this morning they got a thick layer of ice on a large portion of the rink. Attributing the ice sheet to five-degree sudden dive in night temperature, Banga said that the weather is ideal for skating and skaters will be able to roll over for first time this season from next Saturday.
The Met department has forecast mainly dry weather for the next few days, which would further brighten the scope for fall in night temperature. Normally ice is formed in the rink from mid December which last till the first week of February. To facilitate the ice sheet formation for skating, club authorities start sprinkling water on the clay ground, which freezes under natural conditions. The meteorological office here said Shimla recorded a low of 3.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday, a decline of 5.1 degrees from Wednesday.
The skating club holds two sessions in a day from 8 am to 11 am and 5.30 pm to 8 pm after ice formation. Last year 77 sessions of ice skating were organised in the town. The club created a record of hosting 165 sessions in 1960-61. However, in the early 1980s, the sessions ranged from 110 to 120.
The club is affiliated to the Ice Skating Association of India having its head quarter in Kolkata and the Winter Games Federation of India. The first national ice-skating championship was organised here by the Indian Olympic Association in 2000. Shimla ice skating rink was considered among world’s top three natural ice sheet venues during the British days.