|town hall vizag thehindu.com|
|town hall vizag thenewsminute.co|
The Town hall is on a hill and from here one can have a nice view of the entire Vizag harbour. The place is called Old Jalaripeta and the old fishermen's cove that was for a short while shifted to Gangavaram in the late 19th century. Fishermen used to live in this area.
A two story structure, the ground floor has a Madras terrace roof supported by steel beams imported from Scotland. The building has a pair of conical towers which were, it, is believed, used as watch towers. The first floor has a tiled roof, using Mangalore tiles supported by thick Burmah teak wood.
|VIZAG matters - Sohan Hatangadi's Blog|
To-day, this old structure needs to be repaired and preserved for the posterity. The condition of the building warrants serious attention. INTACH has notified it as a heritage structure, but with the passing of each day, the colonial building is slowly crumbling.
In 2014, super cyclone Hudhud did not leave this structure unaffected. This is the only old building in this area with massive Burmah teak wood flooring, according to one INTACH official. The total carpet area is 5000 sq. feet. If no concrete action is forthcoming soon, we may lose sight of this wonderful colonial heritage site. It is said it might cost Rs. 2 crores to fix it. Officials are oblivious to the value of such monuments that need to be restored back to old beauty and passed on to the next generation. An old timer was mumbling about the poor state of monuments in Tamil Nadu. "The officials and others are receiving money in lakhs and crores under the table from companies and contractors. If a small percentage of the hush money is allotted for monuments, it will save many old dying structures. What he then said is true in the case of Victoria Town Hall.
This hall was once graced by great people like Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Sir C. V. Ram,an, Rajaji. great classical carnatic musicians like M.S. Amma , Sri Balamurali Krishna and others. In 1929 Gandhiji gave a speech here demanding the British to leave India for good. In 1931, the Salt Sathyagraha - protest against salt tax imposed by the British, was kicked off right from here. Great freedom fighters like Digumarti Janaki Bai, Digumarthi Venkata Swamy, Tenneti Viswantham, et al participated in this protest. That this town Hall is steeped in history is a fact that one can not deny. Then why no action is taken on this building to save it from falling apart? Is there any justification on the part of the state government or the Corporation of Vizag to let this heritage building crumble and become a mound of trash? Let us hope this unique structure will not become a thing of the past!!