Already delayed by two weeks, trials at Asia’s only natural ice skating rink in Shimla failed to take off on Thursday as well.
Authorities were to test the ice on Thursday to check if the rink was ready to be opened for the season. On arrival at rink at around 7.30 am, the authorities could not find any ice.
This is the second consecutive year when the season hasn’t been able to commence in the first week of December. Usually, freezing of ice at the nine-decade-old rink begins in the last week of November or first week of December.
“The rink is not ready for skating so far. We hope the sky remains clear so that a thick layer of ice is deposited, which is needed for skating,” Ice Skating Club executive member Rajat Malhotra said.
The Ice Skating Club normally holds two sessions a day — from 8 am to 11 am and from 5:30 pm to 8 pm.
An average of 50-60 sessions are held every year, but in 2014 there were only 35 sessions, while in 2009 it hosted only 27 sessions, the lowest in the rink’s history.
During the British Raj, the rink was actually a tennis court, which was converted into an ice skating rink in 1920 by an army official, Blessington, who after finding water taps and even trickles of water frozen in the court’s vicinity, flooded it with water, to find it frozen after sometime.