Tamil Nadu

The building as it stands — an unfinished story

The seven-storeyed building, which briefly housed the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, is one part of the Assembly-Secretariat complex. Called Block A of the complex on the Omandurar Government Estate, the building, measuring 9.3 lakh square feet, consists of four cylindrical structures.

The Block has about 700 rooms, whose size ranges from 600 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. Many of them have attached washrooms. An exclusive entry and exit has been provided in the case of rooms for Ministers and Secretaries of government departments. Generally, there is enough provision in all the rooms for the entry of natural light. Compact fluorescent lamps have been provided everywhere.

The ground floor has a bigger hall, which accommodated the Assembly Chamber, and a smaller hall, reserved for the Legislative Council. The dome of the Assembly Chamber is still incomplete. A temporary structure was in place when the Assembly was in session last year. Rooms for Governor, Leader of the Opposition, and floor leaders of other parties are located on the ground floor. The sixth floor had rooms for the offices of Chief Minister and Chief Secretary. Interior works in some parts of the building are not over.

At the time of shifting, the Departments of Public, Home, Industries, Public Works, and Rural Development & Panchayat Raj were functioning from the building, apart from the Assembly Secretariat.

One more department could have been accommodated. Seven meetings of the Cabinet were held in this building.

A circular driveway has been provided. No specific provision for parking of vehicles had been made as part of the Block since a separate parking facility was proposed as part of the overall complex project. Outside the Block, at least 100 cars can be parked.

On the fifth floor, a roof garden was created. A fishpond formed part of the Public Plaza, through which the general public was to enter the building.

At the time of suspension of work, approximately Rs. 480 crore had been spent. There is one more block – eight-storeyed and 7.43 lakh-sq ft Block B – which is incomplete. Around Rs. 80 crore was spent on this building. As part of the original plan, the complex would also have a 1,200-seating capacity convention hall, a guesthouse of 50 suites, and a multi-level car parking facility for 700 cars.

The revised cost of the entire project was estimated at Rs. 1,092 crore.

The entry points to the complex had been provided on Anna Salai (formerly Mount Road) on the western side, Wallajah Road on the south, and Sivananda Salai on the north.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 8:50:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/the-building-as-it-stands-an-unfinished-story/article2331513.ece

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