Having missed all possible deadlines, the new eight-storied court complex limps to completion. However, even when there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, the fire department poses the last hurdle.
The much-embattled originally-estimated-Rs. 18.25 crore project, which, though was commissioned in 2005 – amidst numerous protests to expedite the project – and saw construction starting only in 2008. The new integrated building would house a total of 30 courts including family courts, labour courts, courts that currently operate from the corporation building and the district court.
Even on August 25 last year, the then-Minister for Law Suresh Kumar was told by court authorities that the building would be ready by December-end. It’s been nine months since the deadline passed, and yet civil works are pending.
Public works department officials – who refused to be named in fear of censure from the courts – said the works could be finished by November.
When asked why the project had been delayed for so long, the official said: “There have been numerous additions to the building. For example, Rs. 1.5 crore side protectors were added, Rs. 5 crore for lift works, Rs. 5 crore for additional electrical works, and other works, together costing Rs. 14 crore, have all taken time to get approvals and to construct.”
While giving no deadline for the completion of the project, Principal District and Session Judge Arun Chaudapurkar, said the sooner the PWD department hands it over, the better. “They have their own problems that they have to deal with…There are many problems in functioning out of the old court building; and since the courts are currently spread out, having one integrated complex will help lawyers tremendously,” he said.