Elevator works block Shimla ice rink space: La Tribune India
Tribune press service
Shimla, December 31
The historic Shimla Ice Skating Club is going through a rough patch this season. Not only is it unable to use about a third of the ice rink’s space due to the construction of an elevator, its retaining wall has also become “unsafe” due to excavation by heavy machinery.
“We have informed DC of the vulnerability of the city’s iconic ice rink,” said Pankaj Prabhakar, club treasurer. “The retaining wall built at a cost of Rs 45 lakh by the Sports Department is damaged and has become dangerous. It needs to be repaired to ensure that skating sessions are not interrupted, ”he adds.
In addition, the club also complained about the relocation of the counter of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) to its premises and the allocation of three sheds, just at the entrance of the club, to vendors. “These hangars were originally built for construction-related work. The HRTC, however, has assigned these hangars to vendors, who run dhabas that have no water or sewer connections. In addition, dhaba owners burn garbage in the open. This causes a lot of inconvenience to the skaters and also affects the aesthetics of the club, ”explains Prabhakar.
The club is concerned that the CIRD will make these makeshift hangars permanent and leave the club premises even after the work on the elevator is finished.
Another issue that concerns the club is the delay in the demolition of the Rivoli building, which is perched just above the ice rink. “If the building collapses, part of the club will be damaged. We have brought the matter to the attention of the MC, but no action has been taken so far, ”he said. Interestingly, the MC ordered the demolition of the Rivoli building but the order has not been carried out to date.
Additionally, there was a plan to convert the rink into an all-weather facility through the Shimla Smart City Mission, but that project, too, did not materialize. “An all-season ice rink will be a great facility that will also stimulate tourism. We have no idea what happened to the project, ”Prabhakar says.