Work on the construction of seven-storeyed Block ‘B’ of the New Assembly Complex on the Government Estate began on Thursday.

Estimated at a cost of Rs. 280 crore, the work is expected to be completed in 18 months. R. Vasudevan, Managing Director, Vascon Engineers, told reporters that the Block ‘B’ would be ready in 15 months.

S. Karunakaran, Chief Engineer (Buildings) of the Public Works Department, said that steps would be taken for securing a gold rating for the proposed structure under the concept of green building. Already, efforts had been made to get gold certification for the Block ‘A’ and the Anna Centenary Library Complex, being built in Kotturpuram.

The Block ‘B’ would have a plinth area of about 73,400 square metres. Details of floor-wise accommodation provided for the departments were as follows: Ground Floor - Agriculture and Health & Family Welfare; First Floor - Revenue, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries and Information & Public Relations; Second Floor - Personnel & Administrative Reforms, Environment & Forests, Labour & Employment and Tourism & Culture; Third Floor - Personnel & Administrative Reforms, Prohibition & Excise, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Commercial Taxes; Fourth Floor - Public Works, Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes & Minority Welfare, Housing & Urban Development, Energy and Youth Welfare & Sports Development; Fifth Floor - Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, Highways, Higher Education and Adi-Dravidar & Tribal Welfare; Sixth Floor - Cooperation, Food & Consumer Protection, School Education, Textile and Tamil Development, Religious Endowments & Information; Seventh Floor - Municipal Administration & Water Supply, Industries, Social Welfare & Nutritious Meal Programme and Transport.

As for the work on the Block ‘A,’ Mr. Karunakaran said that as desired by Chief Minister, it was expected to be completed by March end. So far, Rs. 160 crore had been spent against the project cost of Rs. 425.57 crore.

The office of the Tamil Nadu Public Services Commission (TNPSC), now in the Government Estate, would be re-located temporarily on Greams Road. A permanent and suitable site would be identified for the Commission, considering the fact that a large number of people would have to visit the office of the TNPSC. For the time being, the State Guest House and the Tourism Complex, both adjacent to the Government Estate, would not be disturbed.

Tenders for a convention hall, a guest house and a multi-level parking structure would be floated by April-May.

On the death of a worker on Wednesday following the collapse of the partly-demolished portico of the Kalaivanar Arangam on the Estate, Mr. Karunakaran said that the contractor paid the family of the deceased a compensation of Rs. 1.25 lakh.