Work on lift blocks space of Shimla ice skating rink

Work on lift blocks space of Shimla ice skating rink

2022-01-01 00:31:10

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 31

The historic Ice Skating Club of Shimla is having a tough time this season. Not only that it’s unable to use around one-third space of the skating rink due to the construction of a lift, but also its retaining wall has become ‘unsafe’ due to digging by heavy machines.

“We have apprised the DC about how the city’s iconic skating rink has become vulnerable,” says Pankaj Prabhakar, treasurer of the club. “The retaining wall built at a cost of Rs 45 lakh by the Sports Department is damaged and has become unsafe. It needs repair to ensure skating sessions are not disrupted,” he adds.

Besides, the club has also complained about the shifting of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) ticket counter to its premises and the allotment of three sheds, right at the entrance of the club, to vendors. “These sheds were initially built for construction-related works. The HRTC, however, has allotted these sheds to vendors, who are running dhabas that do not have water or sewerage connections. Also, the dhaba owners burn garbage in the open. It’s causing a lot of inconvenience to skaters and also affecting the aesthetics of the club,” says Prabhakar.

The club has apprehensions that the HRTC may make these makeshift sheds permanent and may not vacate the club’s premises even after the work on the lift is completed.

Another issue that’s bothering the club is the delay in the demolition of the Rivoli building, which is perched right above the skating rink. “If the building collapses, a part of the club will be damaged. We have brought the matter to the notice of the MC but no action has been taken so far,” he says. Interestingly, the MC has ordered the demolition of the Rivoli building but the order hasn’t been implemented till date.

Also, there was a plan to convert the skating rink into an all-weather facility through the Shimla Smart City Mission but that project, too, has not seen the light of the day. “An all-weather skating rink will be a great facility that will also boost tourism. We have no clue what happened to the project,” says Prabhakar.

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