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New Assembly complex to have high-rise building

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SITE OF POWER: Government Estate in Chennai, where the Assembly complex will come up. —
SITE OF POWER: Government Estate in Chennai, where the Assembly complex will come up. —

T. Ramakrishnan

German company to submit details and designs by June 10

CHENNAI: Making changes in the earlier plan of the proposed Rs.200-crore Assembly complex project, the government has cleared construction of a high-rise building on Government Estate to house various departments.

The building may even have 20 floors, though finer details are yet to be worked out, according to a source. It is estimated to have a built-up area of over 6.5 lakh sq. ft.

Originally, the proposed complex was to have five circular buildings. Now, it will have four, which will accommodate the main component of the project – Assembly hall, library and the Secretariat; Chief Minister’s office; Ministers’ offices and core departments such as Home, Law, Public and Finance. The high-rise building, another component of the project, has been included now.

A meeting chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday cleared the layout and architectural parameters of the Assembly project. Representatives of the German-based architectural company, GMP International, made a presentation before the Chief Minister, Public Works Minister Durai Murugan, Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy and a host of officials.

Among the other features of the project are multi-level car parking and ‘people’s square.’ The parking lot can accommodate 500 cars. The “people’s square” will have facilities such as a railway ticket booking counter and a bank branch or automated teller machine outlets, according to the source.

The German company has assured the government it will provide detailed drawings and designs by June 10. Its representatives have told government officials they require a few weeks to come up with more details of the high-rise building.

As regards the commencement of the construction work, the source says the government plans to launch the work by September. It is hopeful of carrying out the tendering process between June and September.

The block housing the main component of the project will have ground plus six floors. Its area is likely to be around seven lakh sq. ft. It will come up at the site on the estate where an oil expeller had been kept alongside an old building, The oil expeller was kept there as a symbol of the suffering of people during the freedom struggle. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (1872-1936), one of the luminaries of the national movement during the pre-Gandhi era, was made to operate it when he was imprisoned at the Coimbatore central jail. Thirty six years ago, the oil expeller was found buried in Coimbatore and brought to Chennai for display on the estate. In the late 1990s, the oil expeller was removed to the Gandhi Mandapam complex.

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