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Shimla losing heritage buildings due to lack of firefighting equipment

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Aftermaths-of-Deepak-Project-Fire--Heritage-Minto-Court

deepak project fire cause

First it was Gorton Castle then it was Minto Court. In less than a year, these two grand heritage structures went up in flames in the Queen of Hills, as Shimla was fondly called by the British colonial rulers.

The reason: lack of advanced firefighting equipment, negligence and excessive use of paint work in the buildings.

Records with the fire department say the town has lost more 150 British-era buildings, both private and government, in the past 25 years.

In all such buildings whether it is Gorton Castle or Minto Court or any of the old structures there is considerable use of wood work which has been painted several times with more than a dozen coatings. This is nothing but sitting on an oil field, said Shimla Municipal Corporation deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar.

Click to Read Previous Story/View All Images:Deepak Project fire – another Shimla heritage building lost – accident or conspiracy?

He said in none of these buildings there is an advanced firefighting scientific engineering done and added that with just fire extinguishers this can never be controlled.

Official Documents Deepak Project

The two-storeyed, half-timbered Tudor style — all-wooden frames and shingled eaves — Minto Court building, named after Viceroy Lord Minto, was completely gutted with all records within a few hours Saturday night.

It housed the office of Project Deepak of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), an inter-services organisation under the defence ministry.

Aftermaths-of-Deepak-Project-Fire--Heritage-Minto-Court

“What’s required is an internal creation of fire hydrants within the building, especially the heritage ones, with a duct outside so that the water either through a fire-tender or a water hydrant is ducted outside and the water automatically reaches the spaces inside within no time. Otherwise, we are actually increasing our vulnerability,” said Panwar who rushed to Minto Court that was on fire.

The deputy mayor, who along with two councillors Shashi Shekhar and Sanjay Parmar were present at the spot and monitored the entire exercise of fire-fighters, favoured strengthening capacity building.

“It’s not just that of the officials but also of the common man which is required otherwise the conventional methods would always be dominating which in fact creates more precariousness than preparedness. For example lots of vehicles were parked along the roadside just to see the fire in Minto Court and some of the fire tenders got stuck.”

Expressing apprehensions about delay in reporting it to the fire department, Panwar, who is the CPI-M state secretariat member, said: “As the fire-tenders were rushed, the fire had almost engulfed the top storey completely; there was definitely a delay in reporting.”

“The only solace is that no collateral damage was done to the adjoining buildings and houses…”

IANS

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108 ambulance skid-off road near IGMC Shimla, lands on 2 cars parked in ‘No Parking’ zone

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108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla

Shimla: Two men were injured as a 108 ambulance skid-off the Sanjauli-Lakkar Bazaar road near the Indira Gandhi Medical College today morning. The vehicle fell down on two cars parked on the roadside in a ‘No Parking’ zone.

108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla 4

The ambulance was carrying no patient at the time of the accident, and the injured included only the driver and an assistant.  Both sustained minor injuries.

The accident occurred at about 6:30 AM as the ambulance skid-off the road while the driver was reversing it. No casualties were reported and the driver and assistant escaped with minor injuries,

the Lakkar Bazaar Police Post incharge told Himachal Watcher.

108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla 2

The ambulance crushed one of the cars badly and damaged the other one. Fortunately, no person was present inside these cars and on the road when the accident took place.  Otherwise, the result could have proved to be fatal. 

It is one reason why not to park vehicles in No Parking zones of Shimla. 

 

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Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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