Prez to open Suvarna Soudha on October 11

President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the State government’s invitation to inaugurate the Suvarna Soudha building in Belgaum on October 11, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said on Tuesday.

The Rashtrapathi Bhavan has confirmed that the President will inaugurate the building, considered the second secretariat of the State. Mukherjee is scheduled to address members of both Houses of the State Legislature after the inauguration, he told reporters.

However, it is not clear whether the government will convene the session for the President’s address or organise it as an event. The inauguration and the address to the members of both Houses for a couple of hours would cost nearly Rs two crore, official sources said.

Shettar said the government had been planning to hold the winter session of the legislature at Suvarna Soudha either in November or December this year.
Suvarna Soudha has been constructed at a cost of Rs 380 crore.

Besides the Assembly and Council halls, it has a central hall with a seating capacity of 450, where both the Houses can meet.

It has a banquet hall, an auditorium with a seating capacity of 350, a conference hall with a capacity of 150 seats and 15 committee rooms. The total built up area is 60,000 sq metres, PWD assistant executive engineer C B Hiremath said.

However, the plan to construct a Legislators’ Home (LH) adjacent to Suvarna Soudha is yet to materialise. The PWD had proposed to construct the LH under public private partnership basis. Despite inviting the request for proposal from private parties several times, there has been no response.

The plan was to have a resort-cum-LH adjacent to the Suvarna Soudha structure. The government is ready to give land on lease basis, and it wants the private sector to invest on the resort and run it as a commercial venture for 11 months in a year.

It wants the promoter to allow the facility to be used for the legislators’ stay during the session. But for now, the secretariat has to make arrangements for the legislators and officials to stay in hotels.

Foundation stone

Mukherjee is also scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the construction of a memorial for Swami Vivekananda in Belgaum during his half-a-day visit. The State cabinet recently accorded permission for the memorial project which is estimated to cost Rs 20 crore. The Centre is providing 50 per cent of the project cost. Vivekananda had visited Belgaum on October 15, 1892.

Jnanpith award

The President is also scheduled to give away the Jnanapeetha award to noted writer Chandrashekara Kambara on October 11.

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