Kolkata's iconic Writers' Buildings to be vacated for 6 months for repairs

Aug 08, 2013, 02:10 IST | Agencies

Describing the iconic Writers' Buildings, which house the state secretariat, as a "tinderbox", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the heritage structure would undergo remodelling with the offices temporarily moving out to neighbouring Howrah.

For the first time, the West Bengal state secretariat -- Writers' Buildings -- would be vacated for repairs with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her staff shifting to an alternative location from October 1.

 "The Writers' Building has turned into a tinderbox, causing panic among employees. The centuries-old building requires immediate repairs," Banerjee told reporters.

She said many make-shift rooms have been made leading to space constraints causing an embarrassing situation for employees and visitors. "I want safety of my employees," she said of the building with Ionic columns that was constructed in 1706 for writers of the East India Company during the British Raj and which gave the building its name.

The make shift rooms would be demolished and the entire electrical wiring would be upgraded, Banerjee said. The seat of the administration would shift to an alternative location at the Hooghly River Bridge Commission building, about three km away for six months from October 1.

This, however, is the second Writers' Building. The first was built in 1690 within the old fort where the GPO now stands. The earlier Writers' was destroyed in a fire in 1695. 

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