Recurring sliding threatens The Ridge

 Shimla: The Ridge, the ground in the heart of the city that has witnessed much history, is in trouble as landslides threaten to destroy it but the administration is not treating the issue seriously enough.

In the recent round of heavy rains, the ground developed a hole that widened to more than a meter before the municipal authorities did some patch work to tide over the emergency.

The sliding Ridge - Photo by Dharam Prakash
The sliding Ridge – Photo by Dharam Prakash

When contacted, municipal officer HK Gupta said that repair works would begin very soon and all necessary steps to protect The Ridge would be taken in earnest.

Though it was counted as one of the most stable parts of the city but unregulated constructions and blocking of natural drainage systems in the vicinity of The Ridge pose a danger to this open space.

About three years ago, a major landslide to the north side of Gaiety Theater had buried two people and completely destroyed some shop owned by Tibetans that are set up on an encroached municipal road.

The Municipal Corporation has got a geological survey of the ground done and the National Disaster Management Authority has warned the government and the municipality about necessary steps needed to protect the area from turning into a major disaster.

Ridge caving in - Photo by Amit
Ridge caving in – Photo by Amit

But the corporation appears to be oblivious of any solutions to the recurring sliding problem.

The Ridge is critical to the city for it houses underground water tanks built by British engineers that are still in use and supply much of the water in the core area of the city.

Other than being the venue where statehood of Himachal Pradesh was announced, The Ridge is the ground where every year the Independence Day, Republic Day and Himachal Day foundation day functions are held.

The historic ground has also witnessed history in the making as the nation transitioned from British rule to independence.

Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and several other freedom fighter leaders have been here.

The Christ Church at The Ridge has had Viceroy’s, Governor General’s and nearly all senior members of the British colonial administration congregate in pre-independence days.

An intern at Hill Post, Dharam Prakash is pursuing masters in journalism & mass communication at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. Previously, he has worked as an intern at Dainik Jagran Ltd. A young journalist in making, Dharam Prakash loves to blog and writes what he believes in.

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