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Over year on, bori's historic Nizam Guest House still awaits reopening

Delay in reconstruction work forcing scholars visiting Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute to stay elsewhere

The reopening of the historic Nizam Guest House at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) has been delayed because the ongoing reconstruction work is still not over. The delay is forcing scholars visiting BORI to stay elsewhere Reconstruction work on the premises has been on the past 15 months, and insiders say members of BORI have criticised the authorities at the 93-year-old internationally acclaimed institute and also blamed the architect for the tardy rate of progress.


Snail's pace: The Nizam Guest House at the Bhandarkar Research
Oriental Institute can not be used because the reconstruction work is
yet to be completed


The institute is spending Rs 25 lakh on repairing and restoring the building. The Guest House, Tata Hall and the Printing Press, which fall under the Grade I heritage category, have been vacated for the restoration work, for which the BORI executive committee approved Rs 1.5 crore in 2010.


Entrance of the guest house. Pics/Ishan Ghosh

After the construction work, sources say the rooms will be converted into a strong permanent structure with extra space. When in use, the guesthouse consisting of eight large rooms earns the institute Rs 24,000 every month in rent. Since the time it has not been in use, the institute has lost out on Rs 3 lakh rent income.
Construction work was still on at the place yesterday, with a considerable heap of debris and construction material lying around.

Before this, MiD DAY had reported about the press building, where books had been damaged in large numbers because of repair work done on the walls. "The books had to be sold like junk material and we had suffered losses of about Rs 25 lakh. The institute has not even received any permission from the PMC heritage committee for the revitalisation work of the 78-year-old Printing Press building," said a BORI source.

Among the noted personalities to have stayed at the Nizam Guest House, which was constructed in 1933, are Bharat Ratna Dr C V Kane, author of Dharmashastra volumes, and Dr Mukund Jaykar, a Sanskrit scholar who made the formal announcement for the opening of the University of Pune in 1949.

The other side
DR Maitreyi Deshpande, honorary secretary, BORI, said that finishing touches were being given to the guesthouse and it would be opened soon. "The guesthouse will reopen within 10 days. The PMC's Heritage Cell has given permission for the repairing works at the Printing Press after admitting that they had forgotten to give the permission earlier," she said. Also, Deshpande refuted claims of books having been damaged in the press building.

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