Shimla: Traditional glory of state capital would be restored and preserved, chief minister Virbhadra Singh stated here today after laying the foundation stone of a prestigious Rs 32 crore Shimla Mall Road and the Town Hall restoration and rehabilitation project.
Speaking to reporters on the occasion, the chief minister said conservation of the heritage Town Hall building would be done without altering or disturbing the outside structural design of the building.
“The government was committed to preserving old heritage buildings and all efforts would be made to maintain their magnificence,” he said. Constructed in 1908 the Town Hall currently houses the city’s Municipal Corporation.
Funded by Asian Development Bank’s tourism project for Himachal Pradesh, the Shimla Mall road restoration project involves better road surfacing of the core shopping arcade area and The Ridge.
Giving details about the project director tourism Mohan Chauhan said that improvements to the gathering spaces at Scandal Point, in front of the Town Hall, rain shelters adjacent to Rotary Club, Sher-e-Punjab junction and the sitting area near Oberoi Clarkes Hotel would be carried out.
The beautification drive would also include maintenance of gardens and parks near Town Hall, Daulat Singh Park and Rani Jhansi Park.
The restoration project involves construction of stone V & U drains along all retaining walls, stone edging on both sides of the roads besides cast iron benches with wooden planks with and without backrest, double side benches, Insitu benches and platforms with railing as back rest. All underground wires would to be laid prior to surfacing of roads.
Chauhan said that the tourism department had proposed setting up three escalators connecting The Mall Road.
Virbhadra said that after nighttime illumination of Gaiety theatre, Town Hall, Scandal point, Ashiana at Ridge, Christ Church, State Library and Chinar Tree would give a look of traditional grandeur to the historic town.
The chief minister was accompanied by Vice-chairman HP Tourism Development Board Maj. Vijay Singh Mankotia.
Among others those present on the occasion included Vice-Chairman, HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) Harish Janartha, Mayor, Sanjay Chauhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism VC. Pharka, Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Dinesh Malhotra, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Amarjeet Singh, Director, Urban Development JM Pathania and Assistant Municipal Commissioner Naresh Thakur.
Asian Development Bank has approved a $ 95.16 million loan for funding tourism infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh. The first phase of the project has to be completed by June 30, 2017 and the entire project by June 20, 2020. The Shimla Mall Road and Town Hall restoration are part of this project.