The Corporation of Cochin will make fresh estimates for the renovation of the Ernakulam Town Hall, pending for about a year now after it was found that the structure required more extensive intervention than planned earlier.
Corporation Council’s Town Planning Standing Committee Chairman K. J. Sohan said the project for renovation of the city’s two town halls — the other one being in Mattancherry, was included in decentralised plan last year with a total estimated expenditure of Rs.2 crore.
The town hall renovation projects were taken up as multi-year projects to ensure that the works, even if expensive, were carried out in full considering the importance of these public amenities. The initial plan was to allot Rs.50 lakh each over two years for the two town halls within the corporation limits. However, on examination of the structure of the Ernakulam Town Hall it was found that the structure needed elaborate repair as it had been built in the old style. Leaks and damage to the walls were extensive, he said, pointing out the reason behind not commencing the work.
A structural engineering expert from the Cochin University of Science and Technology had been entrusted with the task of studying the Town Hall building. The report has already been received. However, the corporation was now planning to make fresh estimates for the repairs based on the structural engineering report, Mr. Sohan added.
Meanwhile, work on the Mattancherry Town Hall, the structure of which was found strong, was nearing completion now.
Mr. Sohan said the corporation authority had ceded eight cents for the Kochi Metro Rail project squeezing the already constricted parking space within the Ernakulam Town Hall premises. He said the corporation had ceded a total of about 10 cents adjacent to the Town Hall.
The Town Hall is a busy spot with exhibitions and conventions being frequently held there. The corporation authorities are hard-pressed to find proper parking facility even as they look to the possibility of also improving access to the Town Hall.