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Allahabad University's Vizianagram Hall may get back its sheen

ALLAHABAD: The restoration work of magnificent Vizianagram Hall of the science faculty of Allahabad University is likely to start soon after floating of ...

ALLAHABAD: The restoration work of magnificent Vizianagram Hall of the science faculty of Allahabad University is likely to start soon after floating of tender by RITES probably by next week.

The university authorities have allocated funds worth around Rs 8 crores for restoring of this 125 years old heritage building. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had earlier sanctioned Rs 10 crores for restoration of heritage buildings. The university later asked Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to prepare a report for restoring four heritage buildings at AU, including Vizianagram Hall in 2008-09. After submission of the said report, the university remained silent. Finally the authorities asked RITES to undertake the restoration work of Vizianagram Hall.

Later, a three-member committee comprising INTACH convener, Delhi chapter, A G K Menon, conservation architect Vikas Vedprakash Dilawari of Mumbai and director conservation and world heritage Janhwij Sharma of Archeological Survey of India (ASI) gave recommendations on the viability of projects. Based on these recommendations, the university had asked RITES to initiate the restoration work of the building.

Sources stated that around six months back, RITES had floated a tender. However, no agency or contractor was found suitable to undertake the work of such magnitude.

The authorities of RITES are again set to float another tender by next week and hope to get someone capable of restoring the grandeur of the building. The university had allocated Rs 8.15 crores under the head of restoring this building but sources inform that the entire work would be done within Rs 6 crores. The work is tough because first the entire building has to b made 'weather proof' after which, restoring the paintings, wood work, walls, glass panes etc would be repaired, all resembling the original work.

As of now, Vizianagram Hall and the tower near it are full of dust and pigeon droppings. The life-size marble statue of George Simonds, standing at one corner of the hall, is also in the same state.

Source : Times of India




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