The historic Town Hall that houses Shimla Municipal Corporation is finally ready for restoration work. The state Tourism Department will begin the work to improve the Gothic facade and interiors of the British-era building.
Together with this, the Tourism department will also undertake project on rebuilding the Mall’s surface by replacing the conventional black tar with cobbled stones. Besides, a planned beautification of the Mall Road and Rani Jhansi Park (Ladies’ Park) will also be undertaken.
The deadlock over the restoration work ended after Shimla’s Mayor Sanjay Chauhan held a meeting with top state government officials, including Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy who also holds the tourism charge.
The work was earlier slated to begin in September. However, there were reservations expressed by the Mayor and his deputy, Tikender Panwar, — both CPM leaders. They feared that after the restoration of the Town Hall, the building may not be returned to Shimla Municipal Corporation. There were reportedly plans to set up a Shimla heritage museum in the building.
“The state government has accepted both of our demands. One, to restore the building back to the municipal corporation and two the the temporary office site should be within the town,” the Mayor told The Indian Express.
The Municipal Corporation will be now housed at DC office Complex, which has been vacated by the district courts and low judiciary.
The restoration of the Town Hall will cost Rs 16 crore and it will take two years to complete the project. “The Asian Development Bank has sanctioned funds for the project and we want the work to begin immediately. After the restoration work will be completed, more tourists will visit the town,” said Chauhan.
The restoration of the Town Hall will involve redoing of the slate for roofing, glazing work inside the complex and ornamental stonework on the outer walls will be done as per the original pattern.