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Council Hall, Pune - A political power structure from the British era

The building was first built by the British in 1870 and the structure has stood the test of time for over a century.

pune Updated: Sep 08, 2017 14:29 IST
Shalaka Shinde
While the Bombay Legislative Assembly's first session was held on July 19, 1937, the Legislative Council's first session was first held on July 20, 1937.  
While the Bombay Legislative Assembly's first session was held on July 19, 1937, the Legislative Council's first session was first held on July 20, 1937.  (HT PHOTO)

The Council Hall building is one of the heritage structures in Pune which holds the roots of modern-day India. It underwent restoration work in 2011.

The building was first built by the British in 1870 and the structure has stood the test of time for over a century. The first session of the Bombay Legislative Assembly as well as the Legislative Council, both before and after Independence was first held in this building.  

While the Bombay Legislative Assembly's first session was held on July 19, 1937, the Legislative Council's first session was first held on July 20, 1937.  

The Bombay Legislative Assembly, representative of a pre-independence province of Bombay Presidency, came into existence in 1937. It functioned until the province was split into two states under the Republic of India in 1960 - Maharashtra and Gujarat.  

Between 1947 and 1960, when the province was in existent, the Bombay Legislative Assembly was also functional. The first session in independent India was held on September 10, 1947. 

In the same premises, the New Council Hall building, in its current form, was inaugurated on November 25, 2011. The foundation stone of the new building was laid on August 29, 2009 by the then guardian minister of Pune Ajit Pawar and state finance minister Dilip Walse Patil. The construction work was completed in November 2011. It was inaugurated by the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit  Pawar.

The Council Hall or Vidhan Bhawan is now home to various government offices including the offices of the mayor and deputy mayor of the city.  The brick colour building, which serves as the political power centre of the city, is a grade-1 heritage structure.

According to the town and country planning organisation of the Indian ministry of urban development, “Heritage Grade-I comprises buildings and precincts of national or historic importance, embodying excellence in architectural style, design, technology and material usage and/or aesthetics; they may be associated with a historic event, personality, movement or institution. They have been and are the prime landmarks of the region.”