The Chennai Corporation will soon initiate conservation work on yet another heritage structure. Work to conserve the 24-hour emergency obstetrics and gynaecology centre on Kariappa Street at Perumalpet is expected to commence by June next year.
The building, which was donated by F.M.Parameswara Iyer to the Chennai Corporation, was converted to a maternal and child centre and was inaugurated on 16 November, 1961 by the then Mayor V. Munusamy.
Civic body sources said that the maternity centre would be shifted to another G+1 structure that is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.22 crore. The new building coming up adjacent to the heritage structure would have an operation theatre, rooms for doctors, nursing stations, wards and would house 30 beds.
The work on the new construction is likely to be completed by March . On an average, around 2,000 deliveries take place at the centre.
Preliminary estimates show that a sum of Rs. 85 lakh would be required to restore the building. The building was the residence of Parameswara Iyer, who owned the Central Lodge on Mint Street.
According to architect Rahul Chemburkar, who owns Vaastu Vidhaan Projects, a Mumbai-based architectural firm, the structure reflects local architectural flavour even though it was constructed during the British period.
The firm has provided its consultancy services to the Chennai Corporation for this project.
“Since there was been a change in use of the property from a house to a hospital, the challenge is not only to restore the structure but also retain the current usage. The restoration or conservation should not be a hurdle to that activity. Whatever is done should be in a sensitive manner,” he said.
The firm has made a distress mapping and submitted an initial proposal to the Chennai Corporation. “Currently, we are working on a similar project in Mumbai. We have finished work on phase I of restoration of the E.N.T. Hospital run by the Mumbai Corporation, which is a heritage structure,” he added.