Shimla Municipal Corp earmarks 320cr for disaster mgmt

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Rakhee Thakur,TNN | Apr 27, 2015, 07.18 AM IST

SHIMLA: Destruction caused by earthquake in Nepal and other part of our country has forced Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) officials to think about disaster management in the city, especially Mall Road and its nearby areas.

On Sunday the civic body decided to invest Rs 321.50 crore for disaster management and climate change under its revised city development plan.

Shimla deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar said they would do the retrofitting of important buildings to reduce disaster venerability and make it climate resistant. "With heads of concerned departments, we have also made provision to install advanced fire prevention systems in all heritage structures of Shimla," he said.

SMC project director Rajesh Kashyap said Himachal Pradesh falls in highly sensitive earthquake prone seismological line and parts of Kangra, Chamba, Shimla and Kinnuar districts are more prone to earthquake.

He said that Shimla's northern slope of the historic Ridge, an open space just above the Mall extending to Grand Hotel in the west and the Lakkar Bazaar in the east are likely to sink due to increasing population and over construction. During the British era, city of Shimla was planned for a population of around 16 thousand but now the city has a population of around 2.36 lakh.

Kashyap added that during the British era when the tank under Ridge was getting constructed, they dumped the soil in nearby areas due to which the land near Ridge was fragile but massive constructions over that fragile land have put them in danger.

"In order to save money, residents have constructed the buildings without care and have constructed very ductile foundations. But now 'raft footing' have made mandatory in construction of any structure so the building can remain protected from disasters and the infrastructures which we would built will also include mitigation component for disaster preparedness," Kashyap said.