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Bhopal: Historic Minto Hall's renovation to begin finally, structure's original architecture to stay

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: Renovation of one of Bhopal city's prime identity, the historic Minto Hall, and work of developing a convention centre here, will be launched on June 15, 2016.

While maintaining originality of Minto Hall, a 500-seater ultramodern convention centre would be constructed there. Along with this, renovation of Minto Hall will also be undertaken at a cost of about 32 crore.

Minto Hall was built in the era when Bhopal was a princely state. It was built in 1909. The then viceroy Lord Minto had come to Bhopal then, and for his arrival, it was built.

Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum was the ruler of Bhopal when this imposing building was constructed. Nawab Hamidullah Khan was the last Nawab of Bhopal. It also functioned as Assembly, later.

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation would be nodal agency for this. Renovation of historic Minto Hall and work of convention centre would be launched by Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr. Sitasaran Sharma and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at 7 pm.

Objective of the project is to restore Minto Hall to its original condition and develop it as international convention centre. In view of special importance of preservation-augmentation of Minto Hall, the state government had constituted an apex committee headed by the then Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni for selection of architect.

The committee also comprised former chief architect of EPCO and SPA Prof. Ajay Khare. After due consideration, the committee selected architects Messrs Urban System, New Delhi for this work.

The architects had finalised various drawing and maps. First of all, work has been undertaken to remove additions made to building's structure from time to time.

Examination of wood, plaster and other materials used in construction of original building has been undertaken through Geo System Research and Consultants, Nagpur. Materials as per examination will be used in building's upgradation. Target has been set to complete this work by December, 2017.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.