'Bihari masons come here and...': Himachal CM clarifies Shimla disaster remark | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'Bihari masons come here and...': Himachal CM on Shimla disaster, clarifies later

Aug 17, 2023 11:48 AM IST

Shimla disaster: Shimla is a century-old city and all old structures made adhereing to the architecture principles of the hills are standing tall, the CM said.

As Himachal Pradesh is battling the worst natural calamity of the last 50 years, triggered by excessive rain and landslides, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shukhvinder Singh Sukhu blamed rampant and faulty constructions in the hill state. In an exclusive interview with the Indian Express, the chief minister said architects from outside are coming to the state and constructing floor on floor, without applying scientific methods. "The migrant architects (masons), whom I call ‘Bihari architects’, come here and construct floor on floor. We do not have local masons," the chief minister said.

Houses in Shimla collapsing after incessant rain triggered landslides in Himachal Pradesh.
Houses in Shimla collapsing after incessant rain triggered landslides in Himachal Pradesh.

The chief minister to ANI news agency clarified the remark and said he did not say anything like that. "The people of Bihar are also stuck here. I got them evacuated by helicopters. Around 200 people from Bihar are still stuck here. They are like our brothers. It is the fault of our structural engineering, they are just labourers," the CM said.

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Buildings collapsed like a pack of cards in the popular tourist destination Shimla this monsoon as the rain-related toll in Himachal Pradesh reached 71. The chief minister said Shimla is an old city with a robust drainage system and the evidence is the tall government buildings standing without any danger. The houses which collapsed did not go through the standards of structural engineering, the CM said.

“People construct houses without applying scientific methods. In recently made buildings, the drainage system is very poor. People believe they are draining the water without knowing that water is going nowhere but into the hills, making them fragile. Shimla is more than one and a half-century old, and its drainage system was excellent. Now there are buildings in the nallas (runlets). The houses which are collapsing these days have not gone through the standards of structural engineering," the chief minister said.

“Our secretariat is a nine-storey building, the building of Advanced Study in Himachal University, Summer Hill, is an eight-storey building. There was no technology when these buildings were constructed but structuring was there. We have never heard of these buildings being in danger, ever," the chief minister said.

Shimla's Summer Hill area.
Shimla's Summer Hill area.

Himachal rain: What is happening in Shimla?

Queen of Hills Shimla has been one of the worst-hit areas of Himachal Pradesh this monsoon. On Monday, Shimla's famous Shiv Baudi temple in the Summer Hill area was swept away after a landslide that was triggered by a cloudburst.

On Tuesday afternoon, there was another landslide in Lalpani in the Krishna Nagar area of Shimla in which five to seven houses caved in. The residents were evacuated earlier.

On Wednesday, there was another massive landslide in the Summer Hill area.

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