The West Bengal government was in touch with experts and universities for their opinion on the makeover of heritage Writers’ Buildings, the state secretariat, which would be completely vacated from October 1 for major repairs.

The government was talking to experts at the Jadavpur and Bengal Engineering and Science universities for an opinion on the renovation keeping the heritage structure intact, PWD minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar said in Kolkata on Friday on the sidelines of a programme.

The international standard renovation would be executed directly under the supervision of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said.

Though the minister could not reveal the budget for the renovation and makeover, as per reports it could cost the government around Rs 200 crore.

The building was constructed during the British Raj for writers of the East India Company which gave the building its name.

The seat of the administration would shift to an alternative location at the Hooghly River Bridge Commission building at Mandirtala about eight kilometre away in adjoining Howrah district from October one.

Congress supports the move

Notwithstanding arch rival CPI(M) demanding a white paper, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday got the backing of former ally Congress to shift the seat of administration to an alternative location from Writers Building, which would be repaired entirely.

“It is a right decision. Writers’ Building has become a tinder box. There is no alternative than to shift to carry out the repairs,” WBPCC president Pradip Bhattacherjee said.

Mr. Bhattacharjee, a Rajya Sabha member said that arrangements should be made for employees to reach the new location smoothly and care should be taken in shifting files.

The CPI(M) has demanded a white paper and alleged it was being done to divert attention from real issues and that it would lead to anarchy.