The city will soon get a coastal museum on the premises of the 124-year-old Victoria Jubilee Museum which would house the unique artefacts and other objects of historical importance from the district museums from Srikakulam to Nellore.
Speaking to The Hindu, Archaeology and Museum Department assistant director M. Chitti Babu said that a two-storied structure on the open space in the premises of the Victoria Jubilee Museum will be constructed by the Roads and Buildings Department to display the unique objects from all coastal districts. “The R & B officials had visited the site and after a meeting on August 3 they will call for the tenders. The museum building will be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs.4 crore,” he added. The new building would have the architectural features of the Victoria Jubilee Museum and the Kondalite slabs that were used for the construction of the monument (VJM) used, he said.
“The new project will profile the culture and traditions of the coastal people. Excavated material, inscriptions, paintings and textiles will be featured in the new museum,” Mr. Babu said. The department had sent estimates to the State Government. The proposed coastal museum is likely to be completed by 2013.
However, the present situation in the upkeep of the Victoria Jubilee Museum is not all that encouraging as the dearth of staff is affecting the daily routine. “We had a 50-member staff once but now it has got reduced to 17. There are no qualified guides and attenders are donning the role of a guide,” Mr. Babu bemoaned.
He also said that poor sanitation and drainage was taking the sheen out of the monument that has carved a place in the history. Poor lighting both inside and outside the museum is a big concern. Owing to the fund crunch, the basic necessities are not looked after by the State Government. The monument which was built in 1887 by Robert Sewell, the then District Collector of Krishna District, is leaking and the rainwater is damaging the heritage structure.