Thursday, Apr 14, 2005
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G. Narasimha Rao
Heave ho: Work in progress over conference hall of the Collectorate in Visakhapatnam.
VISAKHAPATNAM: A few major wings of the 87-year-old single-storied building of the Collectorate here, constructed by the British to manage a huge area when the district extended to as far as the Orissa border, are under the process of renovation.
The wings in which the offices of the District Revenue Officer and the District Supply Officer and the Conference Hallare being renovated at a cost of Rs. 37 lakhs and the work is expected to be completed in two months. The tiled roof, which developed leaks, will be replaced by a reinforced cement concrete slab. Other works like plastering of the walls will also be taken up.
`No cause of concern'
Renovation of a historical building naturally causes concern but in this case, the Collector, Praveen Prakash, who is also the convenor of the district committee of the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (Intach), has given assurance that the original form of the building will be retained, according to the co-convenor of the Intach, G. Srinivas Murthy.
The main problem Intach is facing in the district, which has many old buildings, is that though the many have been identified as heritage structures, they have not been notified.
A building cannot be stopped from being demolished (like in the case of Round Building) or additions made to it by its owner (whether a private individual or a Government office) unless it is notified as a heritage structure.
"The Collector promised to consult us on how to retain the original form. Whether to retain the old style of wooden reefers or to go for a concrete slab on which the tiles will be fixed, has not been decided yet. We will make a presentation to the Collector on this issue,'' Mr. Srinivas Murthy said.
Intach is concerned about the way the renovation. It had in the past asked the officials to arrange electrical wiring and sewage pipes in such a way that they are not seen from outside.
The lime used for construction of the walls was thick enough to have concealed wiring, Mr. Murthy, an architect by profession, said.
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