Visakhapatnam

Two heritage buildings to get fresh lease of life in city

Town Hall played host to meetings by luminaries which included Sir C.V. Raman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rabindranath Tagore and C. Rajagopalachari.

Town Hall played host to meetings by luminaries which included Sir C.V. Raman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rabindranath Tagore and C. Rajagopalachari.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Smart city funds to be utilised for the purpose

After crying for attention for several decades, two buildings with a lot of heritage value which stood witness to the city’s glorious past, will be taken up for conservation under an initiative of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation.

Town Hall, which played host to meetings by luminaries which included Sir C.V. Raman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rabindranath Tagore and C. Rajagopalachari and old building of Vizagapatam Municipality standing adjoining, will get a facelift with plans to spend ₹10.97 crore to be released by the Smart City Corporation Ltd.

Tourist importance

The two buildings located near the Fishing Harbour used to be beehive of activity before the city expanded manifold and transformed into a growing metropolis. The Town Hall used to play host to social and cultural meetings. It was built by S. Venkatachalapathy Ranga Rao, the rajah of Bobbili, and inaugurated by then Collector of Vizagapatam R.H. Cambell on March 8, 1904. On the other hand, the municipality building was built in 1930s.

Heritage and social activists have been up in arms against the authorities for allowing the two old structures to crumble for want of periodical maintenance. Both the buildings are located on Beach Road and have a lot of tourist importance if they are preserved and promoted as heritage structures representing the bygone era of the city.

Launching the project named ‘retrofitting of heritage buildings’ under Smart City Mission, Visakha South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar said they would involve conservation engineers to use corrosion-resistance carbon material to give a facelift to the buildings.

Welcoming the initiative, heritage activist Edward Paul told The Hindu that the preservation should be taken up in consultation with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). He said conservation architects should be involved in the restoration work without tampering with the original grandeur of the buildings.

‘Comprehensive plan’

INTACH member A.V. Monish Row said that the heritage structures in the city, including Thotlakonda and Bavikonda, were in a state of neglect for a long time and added that GVMC and the tourism authorities work hand-in-hand to take up a comprehensive restoration plan for preservation of heritage buildings and Buddhist sites.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:09:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/two-heritage-buildings-to-get-fresh-lease-of-life-in-city/article26232091.ece

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