Soon, KMC, PWD to take up Town Hall restoration work
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in association with the state Public Works Department (PWD) will soon take up restoration work of the historical Town Hall. Member Mayor-in-Council (Parks & Gardens) Debasish Kumar chaired a high-level meeting on the restoration of Town Hall with experts and several concerned officials of the director general level of the civic body on Monday.
PWD in consultation with IIT Roorkee has already prepared a detailed scheme for restoration of and renovation of the Town Hall. IIT Roorkee has instructed that for the restoration work, the entire museum in the Hall needs to be vacant.
"But shifting of all the things in the museum is an uphill task as most of the exhibits in the 200-year-old building constructed during the British era are theme based. We can remove the objects from the museum but random removing of things related with the theme is not at all feasible. We have formed a team who will travel to Uttarakhand to seek opinion of experts from IIT Roorkee in this regard on Friday. We will conduct a review meeting on Monday and accordingly decide on the next course of action," Debasish Kumar said.
According to Kumar, once theme-based things are removed, it cannot be restored so there is no other option apart from destroying them. The expert committee of the KMC includes former vice-chancellor of Visva Bharati university Sabyasachi Mukherjee and former director of Indian Museum Anup Motilal. The restoration of the building will entail an expenditure of approximately Rs 18 crore.
Town Hall is an important structure from engineering, architectural and historical point of view. The renovation has become important with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee holding a number of important administrative meetings in the hall in the recent past.
Earlier, 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 process," a KMC official said.