The Public Works Department (PWD) has finally decided to start the construction of the new building of the Collector’s Office after Diwali. The project has been delayed since November because of rigid governmental procedures.
The building is likely to be completed in three years. The dismantling of the heritage building will begin in June once the PMC gives its confirmation for the drawings of the plan for the new green building.
Heritage issue, trees
PWD Executive Engineer Atul Chavan said the procedures involved in the project were not easy, with permissions required from various authorities as the current structure falls under the category of heritage building.
“There are 198 trees on the premises and a few of these need to be cut down. However, we have to seek the high court’s permission to cut down even one tree on the premises,” Chavan said.
Chavan said a committee had been set up for the purpose and it consisted of four architects — two of them private ones and two from the PWD — and the District Collector.
“I agree that the project has been delayed, but considering the importance of the office building, we have to take each step carefully,” Chavan said. “The state government has sanctioned Rs 48 crore for the first phase of the construction of the office.”
Collector for speed
District Collector Vikas Deshmukh has told the department to speed up the plan. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 75 crore.
Deshmukh said he was doing everything possible to facilitate the dismantling of the old structure even before June.
“The committee is already done with two meetings. We need to shift our staff to the Zilla Parishad building, but I told the PWD not to wait till June for the dismantling of the office building and speed up the process as soon as we shift our staff to the ZP building,” Deshmukh said.
The staff at the Collector’s Office said the roof of the Deputy District Election Officer’s cabin had developed leakage because of the sorry state of the building. “When we complained about the leakage, we were told by the PWD to bear with it as the building would be dismantled soon.
Since November we have been waiting, but the PWD has been delaying the project, which has forced us to keep working in the leaking rooms,” a staff member said, requesting anonymity.
Green building plan
The building will have seven storeys. Five of these will be for offices and two for underground parking. The total construction will come up on 1.80 lakh sq ft, where all the existing offices under the District Collectorate will be housed. The building will also house the Panchayat Samiti office.“It will be environment-friendly and energy efficient. There will be optimum use of natural light, thereby restricting the use of electricity,” said PWD Executive Engineer Atul Chavan.