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Corporation takes over Victoria Public Hall

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

Proposes to restore the 125-year-old building after the elections

— Photo: M.Vedhan

A view of the Victoria Public Hall in Chennai.

CHENNAI: With effect from April 1, 2009, the Chennai Corporation has taken over the Victoria Public Hall that is situated near the Ripon Building.

With the Board of the Victoria Public Hall Trust resolving to hand over the hall and other related property to the civic body at a meeting held last month, it has paved the way for the Corporation to renovate the property.

Corporation sources said that the board members who met on March 11 unanimously resolved to hand over the property including assets, savings and deposits to the civic body.

The civic body proposes to restore the over 125-year-old building, which was designed as a town hall. The civic body would call for tenders after the election and the restoration work is expected to commence in July.

The Municipal Corporation of the city of Madras had leased out about 3.14 acres in the People’s Park for 99 years to the Trustees of the Victoria Public Hall Trust beginning April 1, 1886, for the hall. The hall, built in 1887, hosted lectures, balls and stage performances.

The lease rent was eight annas a ground or Rs.28 for the property. The lease expired in 1985 and as the civic body did not want to extend the lease, a legal battle ensued. Now as a compromise has been reached in the matter, a petition to that effect would be submitted in the court. The Corporation is also likely to take action against sub-leases.

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