Revamped Town Hall to be ready by start of 2020
Kolkata: The renovated Town Hall will be unveiled by the beginning of 2020. This was announced by Mayor Firhad Hakim after taking stock of the progress work for its renovation that has been continuing for more than a year.
"The restoration for the Town Hall that was made in Roman-Doric style in 1813 became absolutely necessary because the heritage building had suffered natural damage because of its old age. As it is over 200 years old, the building was not fit to withstand earthquakes. We consulted IIT Roorkee that prepared a detailed scheme for renovation of the Town Hall and make it retrofit so that it is earthquake-proof," Hakim said.
The Mayor, however, made it clear that the renovation work will be carried out in a way so that the heritage of the building is preserved entirely. The work is being executed by the state Public Works Department (PWD).
The Mayor held a meeting with PWD engineers, experts of IIT Roorkee and senior officials of the KMC at the venue and then visited the entire structure including the underground tunnel. "I was not aware that there is such a tunnel under this building," he maintained. A senior official of the KMC said as per the planning "fibre reinforced concrete" around the huge pillars in the front of the Town Hall will strengthen it and at the same time steel will be used to fix the structure of the roof with the pillars. The engineers have found that the roof is also not in a good condition. So a portion of the roof also has to be restored. It may be mentioned that the KMC has formed an expert committee for supervising the work that includes former vice-chancellor of Visva Bharati university Sabyasachi Mukherjee and former director of Indian Museum Anup Motilal. The restoration of the building is entailing an expenditure of approximately Rs 18 crore.
Town Hall is an important structure from engineering, architectural and historical points of view.
Earlier, the KMC had engaged Jadavpur University for making a conditional assessment of the Town Hall and also suggest remedial measures for its structural health and restoration work.
"The report prepared by JU had suggested a huge and complicated restoration," a KMC official said.