Photo used for indicative purpose only.

Former Mayor urges CM to preserve historic Town Hall in Shimla

Shimla, July 31

In an open letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sukhwinder Singh, the District Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Former Mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, has urged the government to intervene in the matter concerning the historic ‘Town Hall’ in Shimla. The Town Hall, which currently houses the office of the Municipal Corporation Shimla, has been a symbol of the city’s heritage since its construction during the British period in 1905.

The letter highlights the recent controversy surrounding the Town Hall, wherein the former BJP-ruled Municipal Corporation, Shimla, passed a resolution to hand over the building to private institutions for commercial activities. The move has drawn criticism from the public and opposition parties, who claim that it is a clear violation of constitutional obligations and the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.

According to official records, the Town Hall spanning 474-18 square meters is owned by the Municipal Corporation Shimla and has been utilized for administrative purposes since independence. The upper floor houses offices of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Commissioner, while the lower floor functions as a meeting room for the Municipal Corporation and houses departmental offices for officers and public service.

Sanjay Chauhan, in his letter, argues that the decision to hand over the Town Hall to private hands is not only a violation of the Constitution but also deprives the elected government of the city, the Municipal Corporation, from having a dedicated space for its monthly and other meetings. Furthermore, Chauhan points out that this is not an isolated incident, as other properties of the Municipal Corporation Shimla, including Taka Bench Book Cafe and Tutikandi Multipurpose Complex, have also been given to private entities for commercial purposes, resulting in significant financial losses to the Corporation and the public.

The District Secretary calls for immediate action to rectify the situation, urging the Chief Minister to cancel the decision of the former government and Municipal Corporation Shimla to hand over the Town Hall and other properties to private hands. Chauhan stresses the importance of preserving the historic building and converting it into a government office, emphasizing the responsibility of elected officials to protect public property and use it for the benefit of the people.

The issue has sparked public interest and concern, with many citizens expressing their support for preserving the heritage of Shimla. Earlier this morning a complaint had surfaced wherein MC Commissioner had served notice to owners of the leased Town hall about violations in heritage norms.

Also read:Controversy brews over leased heritage Shimla Town Hall!



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