The Greater Chennai Corporation is set to resume work on restoration and retrofitting of Victoria Public Hall to attract tourists.
The restoration of the heritage building, which is more than 110 years old Ripon Buildings, started during the previous DMK regime. After 2011, the project was delayed as the underground Metro Rail project near Central Square weakened the heritage structure.
The consultant for the restoration project has submitted the report to develop an art and heritage museum dedicated to Chennai in the heritage building. The project is estimated at ₹26.27 crore. As the building has been damaged, the civic body is expected to carry out retrofitting, based on the recommendations of heritage conservation experts. Tourists will be permitted on the premises in the evening once the lighting of the heritage building is installed. The civic body has installed dynamic lighting of Ripon Buildings on the same premises.
Last year, the State government announced that the Victoria Public Hall would be renovated. As the building is structurally weak, the civic body is planning to adopt technology to strengthen the building without compromising anything on its heritage value and architecture.
The Greater Chennai Corporation had called for the tender for preparing a detailed project report by involving heritage experts as consultants. As the consultants have submitted the detailed project report, the design and report is going to be submitted to the State government for final approval for taking up the renovation of Victoria Public Hall under Singara Chennai 2.0 project, said an official.
A proposal for developing a town hall for discussing civic issues in the building was shelved a few years ago. A final decision on retrofitting of the heritage building is expected to be taken by the State government this month, officials said.