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DH ground set for renovation

Staff Reporter



Ernakulam Durbar Hall grounds. — File photo

KOCHI: The Durbar Hall ground in Kochi will sport a new look by Onam, with the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) planning to make improvements in the stage and its layout.

The aim is to convert it into a bigger structure without pulling down the existing open-air facility, said District Collector Sheik Pareeth, the council's chairman. “The grass lawn will remain as it is. We plan to add a green room and generator room, apart from having a roof with steel frame.

Thus, events of a bigger scale can be hosted here like at the Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram. The acoustics will be planned with the help of experts from the Chennai IIT and a projector will be set up with the technical expertise of the Kerala State Film Development Corporation,” he said.

The civil works would be entrusted to Nirmithi Kendra, based on the design provided by an architecture firm. The ground would soon have more flower-bearing plants planted by the Ernakulam District Agri-Horticultural Society.

The work that is currently on to lay tiles on the ground's walkway is expected to be over in a week.

The granite tiles and inter-locking tiles are being replaced after regular walkers complained of the uneven surface.

Kadappa slabs would be laid to augment seating in the ground's periphery. More lights have to be installed in ill-lit corners and near the public comfort station, so that families can safely move around even at night.

Architect S. Gopakumar said that the design for the new stage would be ready in a week. “Our aim is to have a large, covered area with adequate height so that lights, speakers etc., can be hung from the roof. The existing practice of putting speaker boxes one above the other near the stage hampers view and also irritates people sitting near them.”

A roofed structure has been planned so that electronic and audio-video equipment brought for stage performances do not get damaged in rain. A band stand too might be set up so that bands of schools and uniformed forces can perform at the ground.

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