Threat to heritage hotel stops construction work in Shimla

July 20th, 2012 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, July 20 (IANS) The ongoing construction of lawyers’ chambers, which triggered landslides and threatened the foundation of the Oberoi Group’s prime British-era hotel here has been stopped, an official said here Friday.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court Advocate Welfare and Charitable Society has decided to suspend the construction work of the chambers near the high court during the rainy season, a government official told IANS.

He said the society has decided to stop the construction on the advice of the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee.

In a letter to the high court’s Registrar General, the society’s Chairman Shrawan Dogra said: “The actual construction work will be resumed only after a fresh report from state geologists with regard to soil strata is received.”

The boundary wall and the garden of Clarke’s Hotel, an over century-old landmark on the Mall Road, have collapsed thrice due to digging activity in its vicinity, posing a threat to the main building.

Hotel authorities suspended hotel bookings July 16 for three months.

Official sources said the entire road, running at a level lower than the hotel, has also been damaged.

The trouble started in May when the construction of lawyers’ chambers began in the vicinity of the hotel. At that time, huge cracks appeared in the boundary walls of the hotel and on the road surface.

The high court registrar general has already asked state geologists to submit a fresh report related to soil strata of the area.

Clarke’s Hotel, which came into existence in 1898, was the first hotel purchased by Oberoi Group founder M.S. Oberoi.

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