Shimla's heritage hotel temporarily closed due to landslide threat

Shimla/ July 16

As land has slipped in the vicinity of its prime Britsh-era hotel in Shimla, a landmark in the Himachal Pradesh capital city, the Oberoi Group has been forced to close the property for three months, an official said here Monday.
The boundary wall and the garden of Clarkes Hotel, an over century-old landmark on the Mall Road, have collapsed thrice due to digging activity in its vicinity, posing a threat to the main building.
A hotel official said that the booking has been suspended and the guests were being shifted to another hotel in the town.
Official sources said the entire road, running beneath the hotel, has also been damaged. The trouble started in May when the construction of lawyers’ chambers of the Himachal Pradesh High Court building began in the vicinity of the hotel. At that time, huge cracks appeared on the boundary walls of the hotel and on the road.

“With the onset of monsoon, the digging portion triggered landslips in the area,” a government official said. The hotel, which came into existence in 1898, was the first hotel purchased by Oberoi Group founder M.S. Oberoi, where he worked.