SAMBALPUR: The renovation of the century-old Victoria Town Hall in the city has missed the deadline of March ostensibly due to delay in the release of funds though the work was taken up in 2017. Following decision to renovate the structure of British era, the Tourism department sanctioned Rs 1.44 crore and the amount deposited with the office of Sambalpur Collector. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) started the work in May, 2017.
While INTACH’s Sambalpur Chapter member Deepak Panda blamed the delay in release of funds for the slow progress, Project Director, DRDA Sukant Tripathy said the amount could not be released by the Collector’s office due to the elections this year.However, a bill submitted in February was cleared recently. Panda said they have now set a target to complete the work by December this year. The roof of the historical building has been repaired and plastering of the inner wall completed.
“The interior designing of the building is underway. A museum will be developed in the hall after the renovation. INTACH will provide support for development of the museum where tradition and history of the region will be exhibited,” Panda said.
The foundation stone of Victoria Town Hall was laid in 1902 and the then Chief Commissioner of Central Province JP Hewety had inaugurated the building in 1904. The then Superintendent Engineer of Central Province JB Leven Thorpey had prepared the design of the building.
The British Government had decided to construct buildings in the memory of Queen Victoria after she died in 1901 and name those in her name in all district headquarters of India including Sambalpur. An amount of Rs 9,417 had been contributed by the kings, zamindars and businessmen of the region for construction of the building.
Renovation delayed due to release of funds even though the work was taken up in 2017
Tourism department sanctioned Rs 1.44 crore for the work but a bill submitted for the work was cleared recently