As the imposition of the model code of conduct draws closer, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has gone into bhoom poojan (groundbreaking ceremony) overdrive. Although no official dates have been announced yet observers expect the code of conduct to come into force by the end of October.
Since no new works can be set into motion once the code comes into effect, elected representatives, from Mayor Krishna Murari Moghe downwards, are trying to push through as many developmental works as possible before the end of the month.
The bhoomi poojan for renovating the historic, long-neglected Gandhi Hall at an estimated cost of Rs 2.14 crore only the latest in a series of proposals that have been dusted off shelves. Gandhi Hall was designed by Fredric Stevens, the same architect who designed the Victoria Terminus and was inaugurated by George V in 1905.
The restoration is expected to bring the heritage structure to its pristine glory, albeit with a few enticing add-ons like children-friendly gardens, an amphitheatre and, on a more prosaic note, space for commercial activities. The makeover is to be completed in two years, Himanshu Duwadkar, who along with partner and fellow architect Shreya Bhargava will oversee the project.
"We're performing bhoomi poojan for road-building, repair and other works on an almost daily basis," said Mayor-in-Council (MiC) Public Works committee chairman Jawahar Mangwani. And the pace, he asserts, will not slacken. "We will commission 500 large and small-scale development works (before the code of conduct is enforced)," he added.
Mangwani said corporators were being asked to ensure that pending proposals in their constituencies were taken up on a priority basis. Meanwhile, mayor Krishna Murari Moghe on Saturday asked IMC Horticulture department officials to submit a status report on 400 greening proposals, mostly at the ward-level.
"Once the details are in works orders will be issued for the remaining works," said the IMC public relations officer. Arguably the City's prettiest structure, Mahatma Gandhi Hall was formerly named King Edward Hall. Built in the early 1900s the Indo-Gothic structure has rooms with frescoed ceilings and gilded ornamental mouldings. Its central hall, capable of accommodating up to 2000 people, acts as the occasional venue for the IMC general council meetings.
Moghe to inspect sites
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the administrative complex to be built at the IMC headquarters premises, Loha Mandi and the Marimata Mandir-Sadar Bazar stretch of road are likely to be carried out in the next fortnight.
Mayor Krishna Murari Moghe will inspect the 3 sites on Monday before the shovel meets the earth. "Physical works for the administrative complex will be formally inaugurated on October 20 (Dhanteras eve)," said Mangwani.