11 departments of Writers` Building to be shifted by Oct 01
Kolkata: Only 11 of the 25 departments of the West Bengal state secretariat, Writers` Building, would be shifted to an alternate location by the deadline of October 1.
The 11 departments, mostly those headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would move to the 14-storey HRBC building across the river Hooghly in adjoining Howrah district, state secretariat officials said.
The seat of the administration, a heritage structure, would for the first time in its history move to an alternative location for major repairs, which would take a few months time, after its construction in 1706 for `writers` or clerks which gave the building its name.
The 11 departments to be shifted would be the Chief Minister`s office, cabinet room, office of Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra and the VVIP waiting room.
Among others would be the offices of Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, Director General of Police Naparajit Mukherjee, Director of Security Virendra and CMO Under Secretary.
The office of the Finance Minister Amit Mitra and the excise excise department would also be moved to the HRBC building.
The Home (Personnel), Agriculture, Land and Land Reforms on, Information and Cultural Affairs department, Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education, Disaster Management and the state police directorate would move across the river.
The PWD department would coordinate the shifting to the HRBC which would be painted blue and white, the favourite colour of the chief minister, they said.
The departments of Urban Development, Labour, Law and Backward Class Welfare would remain at Writers` Buildings, while some were shifted to other buildings in the metropolis or in Salt Lake.
Tender for interior work at the HRBC has been floated
"The CM has suggested use of fibre cement boards for interior work along with sprinklers in case of fire," the officials said.
"Engineers are working to establish connectivity between the new complex and the nearest mobile tower by setting up micro antenna in the HRBC building," they said.
The state government was in touch with experts including universities in the state for expert opinion for the makeover of the Writers` Buildings.
PWD minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar said that the Writers building project would be executed as per international standards under direct supervision of the chief minister.
Though the minister did not reveal the budget for the renovation, reports said it could cost the state government over Rs 200 crore.
Meanwhile, government employees unions were up in arms against the translocation saying that they were not taken into confidence.
The unions include the Employees Coordination Committee, West Bengal Government Employees` Union (Nabaparjay) and the West Bengal Government Employees Union.
Also to be affected by the shift were 32 canteens which catered to the babus at the state secretariat.
They were debarred from setting up shop at the the new address at the HRBC building.
"We don`t know how we will earn a living for six months or so, or if will be allowed back at all after the renovation at the Writers` Buildings is complete," the canteen operators said.
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