Shimla Municipal Corporation and Shimla District Administration are breaching the sanctity of heritage Ridge Ground and Mall road by allowing the political parties, businessmen and enterprises to liter it by putting up shabby posters, banners, and huge tents and even building food stalls and hanging clothes on railings.
A copy of the agreement with us executed recently by the administration allowed the heritage places for business use. In an agreement was inked on May 23, 2023, between the Additional District Magistrate (L & O), and M/s. Prince Trading Company, through its representative Ravinder Singh resident of Lower Julkhari Chamba, has been offered for allotment of open space for various activities at various locations at and around Ridge Shimla.
Administeration mentioned in the document that the terrace of Padam Dev Commercial Complex Phase – I & II at the Ridge Shimla Ice Skating Rink, Lakkar Bazaar, front of Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, Terrace of Rotary Club, Mall Road, front of Panchayat Bhawan building, Bus Stand Shimla to be allotted to Ravinder Kumar for different activities.
The administration offers a rate of Rs. 40,81,181 / – ( Rupees Forty-One Lakh Eighty-Three Lacs ) including GST, with effect from 01 & 02 May to May 15, 2023.
Administeration in the document permitted the second party to not carry out any business or activities on the above-mentioned places which are in contravention of any law or otherwise illegal in any manner. The second party has submitted a sum of 16,73,284 / – ( Rupees Sixteen Lakhs Seventy-Three Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Four as advance.
Administeration however not allowed to display or exhibit any advertisement or placard or put up a hoarding part of the interior or exterior other than those expressly permitted in writing by Chairman International Shimla Summer Festival Committee – cum – Deputy Commissioner, Shimla.
It is worthwhile to mention that the administration did not permit the second party to violate SoPs issued by the government of Himachal Pradesh / Govt. of India, with regard to the prevention of Covid-19, from time to time but no one bothers to enforce it.
The administration seemed to not bother about the sanctity of Ridge as huge hoarding was being displayed on the walls of Mall roads and buildings, and heavy machinery including electrical generators and vendors allowed to litter the pavement and through cookies on the heritage places.
Permission to business activities also extended from May to June which crowded the open space in the peak tourism season when footfalls of tourists remained too high.
The decision to allotment of public places left local businessmen in lerch who are facing huge losses due to the setting up of stalls by outside businessmen.
The sanctity of historic ridge ground further posed danger as piles of garbage are seen everywhere on the historic Ridge Ground teaming out of dustbins.
The hype of which at the same time, businessmen from outside states are drying their clothes on the ridge ground itself after bathing in the open. The photographs went viral on social media.
The decision of the administration to tarnish the scenic beauty of Shimla. The busts and landmark statutes are also shown disrespect to great leaders like former Prime Minister of the country Indira Gandhi and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
It is frequently allowed to put up huge stalls on the terrace of Shimla’s Padmadev Complex displaying exhibitions and food stalls. Tourists and locals hardly bother to throw garbage or liter such landmark