Chaos prevailed at the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) building that is the new State Secretariat on Monday, as thousands of Bengal government employees waited for hours in long serpentine queues for the lift to take them to their offices located in the upper floors. 

Even Finance Minister Amit Mitra had to change lifts after the one he was in initially did not move higher than a particular floor.

It was one of the two lifts meant for VIPs, including the Chief Minister, which was later opened to the State employees.

On her arrival at the State Secretariat, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reviewed the situation with officials of the concerned departments. She stood there for about 40 minutes and directed the officials to install two new lifts. 

The chaos was a result of the fact that only two of the three lifts meant for State employees were functioning on the first working day of the State Secretariat after the Duga Puja vacation. Moreover, the lifts of the building — that was built to host a garment park — do not move as fast as those in most other commercial buildings. 

This is not the first time that the employees have had to face such an ordeal at the new State Secretariat. Long queues outside the lifts have become a common sight at the building. 

Ms. Banerjee had shifted the State Secretariat from the historic Writers’ Buildings to the HRBC building on the other side of river Hooghly on October 5.

Eleven departments of the State government, including the Chief Minister’s office, have been relocated there till renovation work at Writers’ Buildings is completed.