The collapse of the northeast wing of the Rajwada palace on Monday has left Indore worried as the palace symbolises city’s royal past and grandeur.
However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has assured that the fallen portion will soon be restored to its glory.
Sources said the damaged portion was in a dilapidated condition for the past two years. Earlier, its restoration was in the hands of the World Monument Fund (WMF). However, later the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) took over the job due to undue delay by the WMF.
The palace was built about two centuries ago. It is a seven-storeyed structure, which serves as the living example of the grandeur of the Holkars. The palace was once the centre of all the trading activities in the city. It is a blend of Maratha, Mughal and French style of architecture. The entrance of the palace has a lofty archway with a giant wooden door which is covered with iron studs.
Rajwada palace sub-engineer D K Shukla said, “The renovation plans were in the mode of execution for the past two months and have been approved by the senior authorities a day before the incident took place.”
The first phase of the plan, which included the cleaning and flooring worth nearly Rs 2.5 lakh, was approved two days ago. But unfortunately the portion collapsed on Monday morning. The same plan shall be brought into effect and soon a tender will be floated calling applications for the work. The debris will be cleared in a few days, said Shukla.
The authorities say that the cause of the collapse has been its weak base and rotten beams and columns. The vibrations caused due to the light & sound show started recently is also being seen as another cause. It has been suspended till further decision.
“The wood columns and panels which aren’t damaged completely are being collected from the debris. We are also collecting the pieces of carvings and designs of the structure, so that the portion looks as it is when restored. But we will use iron and steel material to provide required strength to the structure,” said Shukla.
The department will also soon conduct a survey of the whole palace in order to check if more portions need furnishing or reconstruction. The whole work is being carried out under the supervision of Prakash Paranjape, curator of Central Museum, Indore.