Shimla: Construction work of a lawyers chamber coming up in defiance of topographic constraints near the High Court that has not only endangered a heritage hotel but also severed a vital road link should not be taken up till the strata is stabilized, an IIT Rorkhee report has set out.
Talking to Hill Post, municipal commissioner MP Sood said, “the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkhee report was only received on Monday and has been forwarded to the government for appropriate action.”
He said the land on which the multi story building is to come up belonged to the Municipal Corporation but had been leased out the High Court.
Given the sensitive zone where excavation was carried out for laying foundation of the chambers, the civic body had sought expert opinion from the institute, said sources in the civic body.
When contacted Mayor Sanjay Chauhan said, “the elected members of the Shimla municipal corporation were not party to approving the construction plans that has endangered the nearby hotel.”
He said, “it being a geologically fragile zone no construction should have be permitted but the government under the watchful consideration of the High Court have approved the maps and have permitted construction.”
The government has constituted a single umbrella committee headed by the municipal commissioner for approving maps in the city, he added.
Lamenting loss of business, DP Bhatia, general manager of Hotel Oberoi Clarkes that has been endangered by frequent landslides devouring its gardens and threatening to pull down the foundation itself, said “we have had to suddenly vacate our guests to Oberoi Cecil and staff members to other places in order to safeguard lives.”
Under threat by a man made landslide the 1898 built Oberoi Clarke’s Hotel was one of the first properties bought by founder MS Oberoi as he set out to lay a global hospitality chain in the 1940’s.