Shimla: The Himachal High Court has given rest to the issue relating to the ownership and usages of historic Town Hall and directed the State Government to hand over the Town Hall to the Municipal Corporation Shimla.
A division Bench of Chief Justice V Ramasubramaniam and Justice Anoop Chitkara passed the order to hand over the refurbished Town Hall building back to the Shimla MC. As per order it’ll only house the offices of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Shimla MC. Bench ruled
“The Municipal Corporation may be permitted to have the offices of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor in the Town Hall. The offices of the Commissioner or his Deputies need not be located in the Town Hall.”
The High Court further ruled to use the rest of the building for tourist attraction purpose and will also give some revenue for the MC. The High Court ruled
“the Municipal Corporation, in consultation with the State Government may put to use the rest of the area, for housing a high-end Café with reading facilities, Information Centre and Boutique of traditional crafts and arts, attracting tourists, with an entry fee that will provide a handsome revenue to the Corporation to service the loan.”
Earlier, it was proposed to shift Museum from its existing location at Chaura Maidan to Town Hall building, but was rejected as it’s not found feasible, due to the insufficient area.
The historic Town Hall building was restored under a conservation project under the Asian Development Bank project executed by the Tourism Department. After completion of the restoration work, the Shimla MC had sought the building. However, many sections of the society were mooting for using historic building as tourist attraction.