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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Himachal ropes in Punjab engineers to save Shimla’s British era’s water tank

The water tank, which was constructed during the British era in the 1880s, has a capacity of 4.6 million litres per day (MLD). It supplies water to areas near the ridge including Chaura Maidan, Lower Bazaar, Lakkar Bazaar amongst others.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2019 11:03 IST
Navneet Rathore
Navneet Rathore
Hindustan Times, Shimla
A view of the Ridge, Shimla. The British-era water tank, which lies under a part of the Ridge, has developed cracks in the walls of its four chambers.
A view of the Ridge, Shimla. The British-era water tank, which lies under a part of the Ridge, has developed cracks in the walls of its four chambers. (Deepak Sansta / HT Photo )
         

In a fresh bid to protect the British era water tank from breaking and part of the historic Ridge from sinking, the Himachal Pradesh government has roped in engineers from Punjab to find a long-term solution to the geological threat to both. Over the years, the water tank which lies under a part of the Ridge, has developed cracks in the walls of its four chambers. The cracks are a few millimetres deep but are widening with the passage of time, which can result in a huge disaster if not restored in time.

A team of three experts of the civil engineering department of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, including head of department (HOD) and two professors visited Shimla on Wednesday and inspected the cracks in the tank. These experts will make a report based on their observations and suggest measures to Shimla municipal corporation, after which SMC will begin restoration work.

The cracks on the tank wall were first noticed in 2018, during cleaning. The water tank is cleaned twice a year. Shimla’s municipal engineer of water supply and sewerage department Vijay Gupta said, “The cracks were first noticed last year during cleaning. We have invited experts from Punjab to inspect the cracks and help us in the restoration work.”

To figure out a solution, a team of Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) also inspected the cracks in 2018, and the SMC had also written to several institutes including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee and Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

Shimla’s mayor Kusum Sadret recently visited the underground water tank along with some councillors.

Shimla faces a threat of loss of life and property if the tank is broken. Besides this, a part of the Ridge has also sunk more than one foot near Gaiety Theatre, endangering nearby residents and markets especially Tibetan market which lies just below the sunken part of the Ridge. Earlier this month, SMC handed over its restoration work to Himachal Pradesh public work department (PWD) which wrote to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee to send a team of experts to study and suggest a solution for it.

The water tank, which was constructed during the British era in the 1880s, has a capacity of 4.6 million litres per day (MLD). It supplies water to areas near the ridge including Chaura Maidan, Lower Bazaar, Lakkar Bazaar amongst others.

 

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 11:01 IST