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Iconic makeover for city landmark

Manisha Jha
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Former MCD headquarters to be made into a museum

Tourists' gain: The good old Town Hall building. — FILE PHOTO: Sushil Kumar Verma
Tourists' gain: The good old Town Hall building. — FILE PHOTO: Sushil Kumar Verma

The iconic Municipal Corporation of Delhi headquarters building at Town Hall in Chandni Chowk that served as important city landmark for 146 years will now house rare and important artefacts after being converted into a museum. The adjoining Azad Park will also be turned into a tourist spot and have sitting area and food courts for visitors coming to the Town Hall.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the MCD Standing Committee on Wednesday. Councillors at the meeting put forward their suggestions on the future of the Town Hall building following near complete shifting of all MCD offices from the Town Hall to the civic body's swank new Civic Centre on Minto Road over the past few months.

Earlier, the MCD was torn between turning it into a heritage hotel or a museum. However Wednesday's decision followed after councillors said the objective of the Town Hall building should not be to earn revenue by using it as hotel, but instead to turn it into a heritage building, a tag it deserves.

Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Rekha Gupta said: “We should help preserve the building's legacy and turn it into a beautiful museum building so that people, not just from Delhi but outside too, are proud to visit it.”

MCD Standing Committee chairman Yogender Chandolia said while details of the project are yet to be worked out, the idea now is to place important artefacts and information about MCD's achievements and history at the building. “It is an iconic building and instead of earning money from it, it has to be turned into a heritage building,” he said.

The decision also comes in the wake of a proposal sent by Municipal Commissioner K. S. Mehra to the Standing Committee, in which he proposed the building be converted into the office of the Deputy Commissioner of City Zone. At present, the City Zone office is located opposite LNJP Hospital and is in dire need of renovation. However, the proposal was rejected by the Standing Committee.

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