Shimla, Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is being beautified through a series of restoration projects at a total expenditure of Rs.144 crore, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Thursday.

The projects include restoration and renovation of two British-era Catholic churches, he said after dedicating a 100-ft-high national flag at the historic Ridge here.

Of the total expenditure, Rs.23 crore would be spent on restoration of Mall Road from Telegraph Office to Shimla Club, Virbhadra Singh said.

For the restoration of Town Hall, located on Mall Road, Rs.8 crore had been allocated. The churches would be restored at an estimated cost of Rs.15 crore.

“We need to extend every basic facility for both the residents of Shimla and the visitors. It’s our duty to keep the city green and clean and make it one of the attractive tourist destinations globally.”

To reduce traffic chaos in the city, the work on a ropeway project from Jodha Niwas to Jakhu hills was underway, the chief minister said.

He also laid the foundation of a book cafe at the Ridge where a collection of rare books pertaining to the history and culture of the state would be showcased.

Shimla served as the summer capital of British India between 1864 and 1939 and still has 91 British-era heritage buildings.

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