The inauguration of the Rs.450-crore Legislative Assembly-Secretariat Complex by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday will mark the return of the Assembly complex to the Omandurar Government Estate after a gap of 53 years.
The last time the Assembly met on the Estate was on December 27, 1956. This was during the term of the First Assembly (1952-57). It was only in May 1952 that a building on the Estate, meant for the legislature, was declared open to accommodate the then strength of the Assembly - 375 members. The building, constructed then at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh, later came to be known as Children's Theatre or Kalaivanar Arangam. In April 1957, the Assembly went back to Fort St. George, which was its venue till January this year.
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will preside over the event on Saturday. Governor Surjit Singh Barnala and Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address the function.
Before opening the complex, Dr. Singh will plant a sapling. A stage has been put up near Rajaji Hall for the function. As per the present schedule, the function will last an hour. It is expected to be over by 6 p.m.
Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry K. Rosaiah, B.S. Yeddyurappa and V. Vaidyalingam respectively and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram are expected to take part in the function. R. Avudaiappan, Assembly Speaker, will welcome the gathering, while K.S. Sripathi, Chief Secretary, will propose a vote of thanks.
The Budget session of the Assembly will begin on March 19 with the presentation of the budget. The week beginning on March 22 will witness the debate on the Budget while the Vote on Account for 2010-2011 and Final Supplementary Estimates for 2009-2010 will be presented on March 26.
According to senior government officials, the session is likely to go on during April when demands for grants for various departments will be taken up.
While the ground and first floors are expected to be ready by the end of next week, work on the other floors may take a few more months. On Friday evening, the Chief Minister visited the Estate to review the arrangements.