Town Hall renovation moves at snail's pace; works stalled for now

Town Hall renovation moves at snail's pace; works stalled for now

Even after postponement of the target for completion of the interior renovation and basement parking at the Town Hall, in the city, the works remain incomplete.

The project taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNurm), was contracted to Chabra Associates of Secunderabad, in April 2011, which had to be completed within May 2012. Since the deadline was not met, the company has been given an extension up to December.

The company had earlier claimed that it had not received payments, which was one of the factors for the delay in completion of works.

The officials of JnNurm however said that the payments had been cleared “to some extent”. They said that the company had been served with notices, twice, and had been directed to expedite the works. The company failed to comply, they added.

The works of internal renovation involves upgradation of the building with air conditioning facilities in the auditorium; stage and seats modernisation; basement parking and other developmental repairs. The basement parking and other works have been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore, while the internal renovation works have been estimated to cost Rs three crore. The project has being funded by the Centre, State and the local bodies. 

The hall was built  in 1884, in memory of Chettipantam Veeravalli Rangacharlu, dewan of the then Mysore State. The former city improvement trust board and the city municipal offices were earlier housed in the building, which is also called as Rangacharlu Hall. However, the building which used to be a hub of cultural activities, especially during Dasara festivities, has been closed for the last two years.

C Krishna Bhovi, Executive Engineer of the project said that the interior renovations are nearing completion and would be ready by Dasara.

The basement parking works have seen only 40 per cent works. “There have been no works in the two months, and the reasons are best known to the contractor. Lightings and tiles installation is still pending. Works on the basement parking would be completed within the target provided now if 150 labourers along with the machinery are employed,”  he added.

Mentioning about the exterior of the heritage structure, he said that the roofs were in a dilapidated condition and it was necessary for it to be completely overhauled. He said that MCC had taken up the woks at a cost of Rs 20 lakh. The structure presently has Madras terrace. The same work and style will be incorporated, he added.

Amith Nayar of the company, admitted to the delay. He however said that “there were several other issues plauging the project”.

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