PWD to renovate three heritage buildings of CU campus
Kolkata: The state Public Works Department (PWD) is set to carry out the renovation of three heritage buildings - Asutosh Building, Darbhanga Building and Hardinge Building - in the College Street campus of Calcutta University.
According to an official of the state PWD, steps have been taken to initiate the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) of the project. A company, that will be selected through tender, will prepare the DPR and accordingly, the next related task will be carried out.
The official said that the "thorough renovation work" of the three buildings will be carried out, following the prevailing Heritage Conservation Act. These three buildings were dedicated to three great personalities, who played a major role in the growth of Calcutta University (CU).
Asutosh Building was named after Asutosh Mookerjee, who was the vice-chancellor and had played a major role in establishing CU as the most important seat of learning in India. The Maharaja of Darbhanga had donated a few lakh rupees to spread education among poor meritorious students and so, the building was named after him. Lord Hardinge, to whom a building was dedicated, was instrumental in spreading English as the medium of instruction.
Hardinge Building also housed a hostel. During the naxal movement, many Ultra-Left supporters took shelter in the students' hostel. The police often conducted raids at the hostel, which was later closed. Asutosh Building housed the office of the secretary, arts and commerce, of CU and the canteen on the ground floor. On the first floor, classes on literature and Pali were held. Darbhanga Building housed the Philosophy and Journalism and Mass Communication departments.
Sources said that the step to renovate the heritage buildings was taken, after the university authorities approached the state PWD with a proposal to undertake the same. Without any delay, a team comprising senior officers of the PWD conducted an inspection of the buildings to assess the work that needs to be carried out, to ensure complete renovation and repairing of the buildings.
The official further said the total amount needed for the renovation and the time that would be taken to complete the work, will be finalised only after the DPR is prepared. Steps have been taken to ensure that the concerned official of the department gets the DPR ready as early as possible.
Moreover, the PWD authorities will also hold a meeting with the university authorities once they get the DPR, to finalise how to proceed with the work by not affecting the normal functioning of the university.