Renovation of civic body's headquarters in its final phase | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Renovation of civic body's headquarters in its final phase

Two years from now, the 120-year-old timeworn structure of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will wear a new look and cater to the needs of a 21st century office while conserving the magnificence of the heritage structure.

mumbai Updated: Jul 08, 2012 01:38 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

Two years from now, the 120-year-old timeworn structure of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will wear a new look and cater to the needs of a 21st century office while conserving the magnificence of the heritage structure. The main dome of the building will also house a viewer's gallery, which will open to the public for a scenic view of the old Fort area.

The renovation of the headquarters' buildings and annexure, which began in 2009 and was divided into three phases, has reached its final stage.

"It is one of the biggest heritage conservation projects and the work will set the standard for conservation of other heritage structures in the city. The project is phased over five years as it is a complex situation in which the work is being carried out without disturbing the daily scheduled activities of the head office," said Abha Lambah, conservation architect and consultant for the project. The offices will be transformed into plush cabins with central air-conditioning and a citizens' facilitation centre is also planned.

The UNESCO awarded Corporation hall will have an expanded seating arrangement and heritage items, like old teak furniture, will be preserved. The courtyard will also be beautified.

The final phase involves a comprehensive renovation, which includes interior restoration, defragmentation aimed towards spatial rooming and construction of a rainwater harvesting facility, added Lambah.

Following the fire at Mantralaya, the civic body is ensuring the building's fire safety. "Even on such a wide scale renovation project, safety will be given priority and firefighting equipment will be put in place," said an official from the heritage conservation department.