Ahead of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s rally scheduled on April 27, the civic body's deputy mayor has sought his intervention to relocate the rally from the historic Ridge in view of its vulnerability.
In a written communiqué to the PM, Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) Deputy Mayor Tikender Singh Panwar urged his intervention and direct the government to shift the venue to some other appropriate place, so that it becomes a precedent (similar to the ban of red beacons from the vehicles), for all other future meetings, not to be held at the Ridge.
Reposing faith in the PM, Panwar stated that his direct appeal to him stems from the anticipation that the PM will be sensitive to the issue of the vulnerability of the historic Ridge, which no other would be able to understand.
“The large drinking water storage tank below the Ridge is highly vulnerable for large congregations and even the summer festival is shifted onto the other side of the Ridge towards the Gaiety theatre,” he said.
The water storage which dates back to the British period, constructed in 1910, is already 107-year-old, he said, adding that this storage tank is a stone masonry built structure which does not have any reinforcement.
“During the recent cleaning of this tank in which both the Mayor and I had been present, we have witnessed cracks developing at one end of the tank which is towards the Lakkar Bazar area. And also, over the years of ‘developmental activities’ instead of scrapping the concrete from the top there has been more than 3 feet surcharge load of concrete in successive decades which makes this tank more vulnerable in its load bearing capacity owing to old stone masonry composition,” he said.