Kolkata: To restore the nearly 200-year-old Currency Building located at the city's Dalhousie Square to its original look, the Archaeological Survey of India has initiated "slow and scientific" methods.
"We want to restore and conserve the building (Currency Building) properly and not in a haphazard manner. We are trying to understand what the building was originally," ASI Regional Director (East) PK Mishra told PTI.
"The restoration of the building has been monitored by our technical team comprising engineers and archaeologists. We have taken up a slow and scientific process in this regard so that the shape is retained for a long time," he added.
"The restoration is an ongoing process and no deadline has been fixed for that. It's a slow process and it may take some time more but we are planning to complete the work by this year-end," the ASI official added.
Incidentally, the building was in possession of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) which had started demolishing it to build a high-rise there. The demolition was, however, stopped in 1998 and the entire structure was declared a heritage building and a monument of national importance.
In 2003, the ASI had taken charge of the building but got its possession only in 2005 when they started the repairing and reconstruction of its demolished portion.
"It was not an easy job to start. The removal of the huge piles of debris took two years and then after the scaffolding were placed. Then the restoration of the interior was initiated with the lime-plastering of the walls, repairing the floors and the decayed wooden staircases," he said.
The unavailability of labourers skilled in lime-mortar has also slowed the restoration process of the building.
"Our officials had to find them across the state with much higher payments than usual," another ASI official said.