Corporation hall gets a facelift

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES: The renovated Corporation Council Hall. Photo: S. Mahinsha

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES: The renovated Corporation Council Hall. Photo: S. Mahinsha  

Special Correspondent

Renovated with funds from Modernising Government Programme

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Mayor C. Jayan Babu said here on Monday that the City Corporation would reserve the right to levy user fees for various municipal services under the ADB-assisted programme for improvement of basic infrastructure. He was responding to queries from newspersons on the proposal to impose service charges for new urban amenities.

The Mayor said the projects identified for the ADB-aided Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Programme would be integrated with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to avoid duplication of effort. Deputy Mayor V. Jayaprakash said the local body had already decided in principle to impose user fees for selected services.

The Mayor announced that the Corporation had completed the facelift project for the Corporation Council hall, the seat of municipal governance in the capital city. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the renovated hall on Tuesday.

Modern equipment

The new hall features a host of modern equipment and facilities, including seating for 100 councillors, separate galleries for the press, the public and VIPs, a mini conference lounge and a digital conference system with electronic voting facility. The renovation project costing Rs.81 lakhs was implemented with funds from the Modernising Government Programme (MGP) and the Corporation's own resources. The digital sound system was installed by the PWD Electrical wing at a cost of Rs.20 lakhs.

Mayor C. Jayan Babu told a press conference here today that the new hall was designed, keeping in view the future need to accommodate more councillors as the city expands. "From 24 wards covering an area of 30.66 sq. km in 1940, the Council has undergone a phased expansion taking the ward strength to 86 and the area to 141.74 sq km in 2005. Today, the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Council is the second largest democratically-elected body in Kerala after the Legislative Assembly," he said.

All the councillors will be allotted permanent seats to make use of the electronic voting system. The digital sound system features a headphone facility. It also has provision to record 100 hours of each member's address.

Portrait of EMS

The renovation project was brought under the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of Kerala state. The Mayor said the renovated hall would be renamed as the Golden Jubilee memorial council hall. Mr. Achuthanandan will also unveil a new oil painting of the first Chief Minister EMS Namboodiripad.

The Council Hall was opened in 1966 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The last renovation was in 1995 when the hall was equipped with new coir carpeting and green upholstered chairs. The lighting was also improved but the council was still saddled with an archaic sound system, which required frequent fiddling by technicians.

The designers have retained the huge saucer-shaped disc suspended from the ceiling. The disc, which is more than six feet in radius, appears to be suspended only at its middle by a set of cables. How it remains suspended without tilting is a mystery for many councillors and visitors.


Mr. Jayan Babu said the Corporation would approach the Government seeking a grant to meet the mounting operational cost for streetlighting in the city. He called on the Government to waive the additional deposit sought by the KSEB for installation of streetlights on the redeveloped roads in the city. The Mayor also revealed that moves were on to streamline the Suraksha scheme for control of the stray dog menace.

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