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Shimla losing heritage buildings due to lack of firefighting equipment




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.


“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…”


Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt Issues Clarification on Opening of Temples and Restaurants in State



Himachal Pradesh Opening Temples and Restaurants from June 8, 2020

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government has issued a clarification on a notification issued by the State Government on May 31, 2020, regarding re- opening of temples and restaurants in the State. The Government said the notification has been misinterpreted in a section of press, particularly in the social media.

A Spokesman of the State Government clarified today that temples and restaurants would open in Himachal from June 8, 2020, after SOP/guidelines are issued by MoH and FW Government of India and thereafter by the Department  of Language Art and Culture and  Department of Tourism, Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Curfew in Himachal Pradesh has been relaxed from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM, informed the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the video conferencing in the wake of coronavirus with all the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers of the State from Shimla on 31.

Also Read: All Guidelines for Passengers, Staff, Management Regarding Public Transport

Further, the transport services would be allowed only between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The buses are allowed to ply with a maximum of 60 per cent seating capacity to maintain social distancing. The District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police are supposed to provide adequate police force for crowd management and law and order maintenance at all the bus stands.

The buses would be allowed to ply with not more than 60 percent occupancy and the drivers, conductors and passengers would have to follow all the safety protocols of the Health Department.

Also Read: New Guidelines Regarding Quarantine and Its Requirements

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: New Guidelines Regarding Quarantine and Its Requirements



Himachal PRadesh New Quarantine Guidelines issued on may 31, 2020

Shimla– The State Department of Revenue-Diaster Management Cell on May 31, 2020, issued new guidelines regarding quarantine rules and requirements.  According to the notification, all persons coming from high load COVID-19 infected cities will be institutionally quarantined. All asymptomatic persons coming from States/cities will be home-quarantined as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family, GoI.

Also Read: All New Guidelines for Himachal, What’s Re-Opening/Permitted and What’s Not

Other Guidelines

  1. All person coming from abroad will be quarantined as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI.
  2. All symptomatic and persons with ILI symptoms may be kept in institutional quarantine facilities.
  3. All persons who jump home-quarantine will be taken to institutional quarantine.
  4. Educational institutions may not be used as quarantine centres. Preference may be given to community buildings, hotels, guest houses etc.
  5. Those asking for better facilities other than identified by the District Administration may be quarantined in paid facilities pre-identified and notified by the district administration.
  6. The orchardists/agriculturalist/Contractors/Project proponents shall arrange for quarantine facility of all labour brought to the State from outside.
  7. Adequate IEC and monitoring may be done to ensure compliance of guidelines of home quarantine by the persons concerned.

Also Read: All New Guidelines for HP Govt Employees and Offices

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt Reshuffles 20 IAS Official, RN Batta Appointed as Advisor to CM, JC Sharma as Principal Secretary



Himachal PRadesh IAS officers transferred on may 31, 2020

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh has reshuffled 20 IAS officials, and notification regarding their transfer was issued on May 31, 2020. Dr Ravinder Nath Batta has been appointed as Advisor to Chief Minister with immediate effect. He will also hold additional charge of the post of Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister. The transfers came following the appointment of Sanjay Kundu as the new Director General of Police.

IAS Jagdish Chande Sharmar, who was the Principal Secretary (PWD, Transport & Information Technology), has been appointed Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. He has been given additional charge of the post of Principal Secretary (PWD, Excise&Taxation and Information& Public Relation).

Other than IAS Officers, Vinay Singh, HPAS has been given charge as Special Secretary to Chief Minister and Special Secretary to (PWD) to Government of Himachal Pradesh.

List of All IAS Officials Transferred on May 31

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