British-era heritage building in Amritsar to be restored to its old glory | punjab$amritsar | Hindustan Times
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British-era heritage building in Amritsar to be restored to its old glory

The British-era building that housed the office of Amritsar deputy commissioner (DC) and was gutted last year will have a new lease of life as `2-crore have been sanctioned for its renovation.

punjab Updated: Nov 20, 2016 14:36 IST
Usmeet Kaur
The British-era DC office building that was gutted last year in Amritsar.
The British-era DC office building that was gutted last year in Amritsar.(SameerSehgal/HT Photo)

The British-era building that housed the office of Amritsar deputy commissioner (DC) and was gutted last year will have a new lease of life as Rs 2-crore have been sanctioned for its renovation.

The building was left unused since the fire mishap last year, but now the government aims to convert it into a museum or a heritage restaurant.

This project comes under the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme for which the union ministry of urban development has sanctioned Rs 2-crore.

With this grant, new life will be given to the heritage building that was built by the British in mid-1850s.

All Amritsar deputy commissioners ran their offices form here since the construction of the building, but now with the new district administrative complex coming up, the DC office will be shifted there. The old building that the British colonial rulers built will be preserved by the government.

“This 150-year-old British architectural heritage went up in smoke in May 2015 in a massive fire accident that lasted for more than 3 hours. It led to the roof collapsing. The main court room outside the chamber of DC was completely damaged and the chamber used by the DC was extensively damaged,” said former DC Varun Roojam, during whose tenure INTACH team was called to Amritsar and visited the heritage building for a detailed survey.

The blaze destroyed century old administrative and revenue records. Currently, the situation is such that the colonial-styled wood work is in a depleted condition and the office has vestiges all over that needs to be renovated and upgraded,” he said.

“The renovation and restoration work will be done in such a way that the original glory is retained. And it will take time to do that,” he added.

Some officials said that it will take a year for the building to be reconstructed as the damage is huge. The building was declared unsafe by the municipal corporation so it will now be built by keeping in mind the safety of public and the officials. It will also have proper fire safety equipments. Tendering for the project will be started soon along with renovation and reconstruction.