Bengaluru must wait longer for rebuilt Krumbiegel Hall

Bengaluru must wait longer for rebuilt Krumbiegel Hall

Work on rebuilding the famed Krumbiegel Hall in the Lalbagh Botanical Garden will not begin anytime soon, given the model code of conduct. There has been little progress in putting back the heritage structure, which was demolished on November 22, 2017, despite public protests.  

The building is named after Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, the German botanist who gave Lalbagh its present shape.  

The horticulture department, responsible for the upkeep of Lalbagh, had argued that there was no option but to demolish the building as it had begun to fall because of seepage.

Horticulture officials also tried to wash their hands of Krumbiegel Hall, saying the building was maintained by the public works department, which paid no attention to maintain it. Though the building was over a century old, it wasn't declared an archaeological site. It was just used as a training centre for farmers and gardens.

To placate the public, the horticulture department promised to rebuild the building and vowed to convert it into a virtual museum. Other plans included a photo gallery of Krumbiegel and Lalbagh inside and outside the building. It also promised to make a documentary on Lalbagh and its plant species.  

A detailed plan with sketches was approved in December 2017 and the groundwork was to begin in March. The horticulture department deposited Rs 98 lakh with the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage towards the construction.  

S M Poojar, ASI engineer in charge of Krumbiegel Hall, said tenders invited about three months ago had to be cancelled because of some technical issues. Now that the model code of conduct is in force, the bids will be called afresh only on May 16, a day after the Assembly election results are declared.  

Poojar expects the work order to be issued two months after the tendering process. The contractor will then procure the materials and start the work. This will happen only in August. The work is expected to take one-and-a-half years. The project cost could go up if stones used in the construction crack or do not fit  to size.

 

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