Tamil Nadu

Heritage building of Madras Veterinary College to get a new lease of life

A view of the Madras Veterinary College at Vepery in Chennai.

A view of the Madras Veterinary College at Vepery in Chennai. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

The building of the Madras Veterinary College at Vepery, a two-storied Indo-Saracenic structure, which remains neglected, is likely to regain its glory as the state government has allotted funds for its restoration and conservation.

“The total allocation is Rs 19.4 crore and the amount would be used for repair and restoration of all the buildings on the campus. The conservation of the main heritage building would be undertaken at a cost of Rs 4.46 crore,” said S. Kuppusamy, Estate officer of the University.

He said the Heritage Division of the Public Works Department (PWD) would undertake the work.

“The government has allotted Rs 9.7 crore in the first installment. We are waiting for permission from the government in connection with the work. We will soon start it,” he explained.

Constructed by the famous contractor Masilamony Mudaliar in 1904, the building is one of the finer examples of the Indo-Saracenic architecture, the front portion of the building is very prominent with pointed arches, exposed brickwork and intricate patterns in the stone spandrels of the arches. It is a brick and lime structure with the Madras terrace roofing.

According to the book, Madras—the Architectural Heritage, the grand central block is flanked by two smaller wings attached at the first-floor level by means of an arcaded bridge over and an arched carriageway below.

A visitor will be attracted by these elaborate stone trimmings over the pointed arches and terracotta infill panels of animal figures in those of the central bay.

“The arches spring from octagonal stone piers that end as turrets capped by egg-shaped finials at the parapet, also extensively embattled. A slopped stone chajja supported on closely spaced stone brackets runs along the entire length of the building,” the book further said.

The building remains in its original form, though some partitions have been added in the central administrative section. But neglect has taken a toll on the building, particularly the walls and its outward beauty. The wooden staircases in bad shape are no longer used. During the rainy season, water would stagnate in the small canal that runs the four sides of the building.

S. Manikandan, Executive Engineer, heritage division of the PWD, said his department had sent a proposal and was awaiting sanction to start the work.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 3:22:54 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/heritage-building-of-madras-veterinary-college-to-get-a-new-lease-of-life/article65376313.ece