Nagpur: Maharashtra Government has given its nod to conserve the heritage Old Secretariat building in Nagpur, which houses the office of Divisional Commissioner and other offices. The plan with the estimated cost of Rs 14 crore aims at taking up necessary repairs of the building that is of British-era architectural heritage. The Old Secretariat building is said to have been constructed between 1910 and 1916 as the Secretariat of Central Provinces.
According to reports, the ground-plan is a quadrangle enclosing a spacious open courtyard. The building is double-storey and the entire facade is of massive stone masonry in alternating courses of black basalt and grey sandstone. The exterior is enriched by a projecting cornice and carved work in grey sandstone. Spacious corridors, wide staircases, porches at different entrances to the building, and large windows are among the characteristic features of the building. Since the building is more than 100 years old, the roof has started leaking.
Now that the Government has approved the Rs 14 crore plan, the works will start after a nod from the Heritage Committee. Prajakta Lavangare-Verma, Divisional Commissioner, chaired a meeting in this regard on Wednesday at her office. Sanjay Dhiware, Additional Commissioner; Vidyadhar Sardeshmukh, Superintending Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD); Asha Pathan and Rajlaxmi Shah, Deputy Commissioners; Milind Salve, Deputy Commissioner (Revenue); Janardan Bhanuse, Executive Engineer of PWD; Leena Zilpe, heritage conservationist; Dr V B Kharbade, and heads of various establishments concerned also attended the meeting.
The Divisional Commissioner asked the officials of PWD to take initiative and ensure that the works were completed as per the time-bound plan. From the funds received under what is to be the Phase-I of the plan, works relating to basic amenities will be taken up. For other facilities, proposals for Phase-II will be prepared, said Sardeshmukh. The office heads gave suggestions regarding various amenities including drinking water facility for visitors, special repairs of doors and windows, separate toilets for men and women, cleanliness in corridors, seating arrangement for VIPs, electrification and internal painting etc.
Pathan said that PWD would take stock of the works needed after taking an inspection round of the building. MEDA has taken initiative to install rooftop solar panels on the Old Secretariat building, and the Administrative Buildings I and II. Verma asked the officials concerned to submit a proposal in this regard within eight days.