PRESERVE SHIMLA HERITAGE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
SHIMLA----Heritage of Shimla needed to be preserved the future generations so that they feel pride for being Shimlites. This was stated by Dr. Arun Sharma, Secretary (Education) to the Government of Himachal Pradesh, in the keynote address he delivered at the One-Day Conference on 'Preserving Heritage of Shimla' organized by Happy Hikers Shimla, here today. He said that every city had its own charm and Shimla happened to be one of the historical cities which had a glorious past of being pedestrian and car free town since its inception.
Dr. Sharma expressed deep concern over the un-planned and haphazard constructions taking place all around the town and the increasing number of vehicles which were responsible for loosing the charm of the town. He said that pedestrians had first right to walk on the roads and Shimlites loved to move around freely in the pristine pollution free environment. He said that heritage was not limited to monumental infrastructures but also included environment, traditions and customs which all needed to be preserved. He also suggested limitation of vehicle sizes entering the town so that roads were not choked.
Shri B.D.Sharma, former Director of Information and Public Relations, presided over the function and said that it was the duty of every citizen of Shimla town to contribute pro-actively towards preservation of rich heritage. He said that natural flora and fauna were at the verge of extinction due to the ecological degradation and increase in construction activities. He said that preserving the town had to be a people's movement and should not need any legal binding. He said that in no case should heritage of the town be permitted to be disturbed. He laid stress upon strict town planning rules for implementation.
Ms. Pratibha Chauhan, State Head of The Tribune expressed concern over the shrinking car free area which stretched from one end to the other end of the town during British regime. She recalled her childhood days experience and compared the same with present suffocating environmental conditions. She said that self-discipline was the best remedy to preserve the rich heritage of the town besides putting full stop to the concrete jungle growth.
Ms. Archna Phull, State Head of The Statesman, said that present generations of the Britishers who stayed in Shimla during British regime were dismayed over the degradation of the heritage conditions of the town which they had been listening from their forefathers. She said that unless remedial steps were not taken in time the situation could worsen in coming years. To ease the road choking conditions she suggested pooled vehicles for the officers authorized with attached vehicles while going to office or moving around the town.
Shri Sumit Raj Vashisht, a renowned travelogue writer delved upon the historical aspect of the town and compared the same with present conditions. He said that essential services were falling short to the growing population and expansion of the town in an un-planned manner.
Prof. Meenakshi Faith Paul, Principal, HPU Centre for Evening Studies also expressed her concern over the growth in concrete jungle and emission of green house gases which had been affecting the living conditions of Shimlites.
Shri Om Sharma, President, Happy Hikers, welcomed the Chief Guest and other dignitaries and said that the organization was committed to sensitize people about their rich heritage and motivate them to join the movement to regain the faded glory of the town. He said that Shimla had to be brought back to its original form and attain its unique identity of historical town.
Dr. Garima Sharma, gave a presentation comparing the heritage of Shimla with its present conditions.
Dr. Sonak Sharma and Dr. Ashutosh also interacted over the issue while people from all walks of life shared their views. -0-
SHIMLA HERITAGE CULTURE TO BE REVIVED
SHIMLA---- Happy Hikers would launch mass campaign to sensitize and mobilize mass support to revive the rich cultural tradition of historic town Shimla . This was revealed by Shri Om Sharma, Founder President of Happy Hikers in the Advisory Forum Meeting held here under his Chairmanship today. Happy Hikers is implementing Preservation and Restoration of Walkability Heritage of Car Free Shimla in association with SUMNet India and Shakti Foundation aimed at revival of walkability in the car free area of Shimla town.
Shri Om Sharma said that Shimla happened to be one of the oldest towns in the world where culture of walkability was introduced centuries ago and most of the roads were constructed keeping in view the requirements of pedestrians. Since the hill station was developed by Britishers during their regime as Summer Capital of British India on the lines of Europe keeping in view the similar climatic conditions prevalent during those days. He expressed concern over the increasing number of vehicular movement on the restricted and core walkable area which was telling upon the environment and health of localites. If remedial steps were not taken in time the environmental conditions were bound to worsen in future and affect mental and physical health of coming generations., he asserted.
Shri Om Sharma said that since the population of Shimla town had increased manifold which had put additional pressure on the natural resources and environment of the town. In such conditions remedial and precautionary steps were required to be taken on priority which would only be possible through mass awakening. Unless awakened citizens of the town did not rise to the call future of coming generations could be put in danger. He made an appeal to the residents of Shimla town to come forward by extending their cooperation hand in preservation and restoration of walkability heritage of car free Shimla for the sake of their future generations and environmental concerns.
Contact Number is 8219437658