Black and white chequered tiles run across the corridors, white tiles line the cabins and rooms have a view from huge window panes resembling French windows. The four floors of the Mantralaya, which were gutted in the fire in June 2012, bear almost no signs of the mishap, a year down the line.
With the government officials planning to occupy these floors within a month, the renovation of the state secretariat is in its last stages. AC ducts were being fitted as part of the central cooling system, while wiring ducts and water sprinklers are in place, to be covered by a false roof.
A 50-member team, comprising government officials, architects, led by chief secretary JK Banthia, toured the 4-floors on Sunday, after a review meeting at Mantralaya. KK Avarsekar, managing director of Unity Infraprojects, the company undertaking the Mantralaya revamp, was part of the team.
"The civil work of the contractor is 70% complete while the other work, including fitting furniture on floors four, five and six, is half-done. We want to shift soon so that the next phase takes off," said Banthia talking to HT.
While the fifth floor will be occupied first, the fourth and sixth are to be handed over to the government by June 15, 2013. The seventh floor, which will house conference halls, the cabinet room and a lawn, will be ready only by July since it was not part of the original contract.
The ministers' cabins will be located in the western part of the building, with brightly-lit rooms, while their respective secretaries will occupy the eastern side.
"Our aim is to speed-up work and make sure we meet deadlines. There have been several additions to the project. Also, additional space has been added to the 6th floor. Right now, we want to make sure the 5th floor is ready in 20 days," Avarsekar said.
There may be some teething problems at the start, warn officials. A senior Public Works Department (PWD) official, said that it may take time for the air-conditioning to start, and officials will need to make do with table-top fans.