Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kalas Mahal fire: CM sets up panel on heritage buildings

Fire-fighters try to douse a major fire at Ezhilagam in Chepauk, Chennai, on January 16. Photo: R. RaguTamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday announced the setting up of a committee to inspect heritage buildings in Chennai and submit a report on their safety following last week’s blaze that severely damaged Ezhilagam, a heritage structure housing some government departments.
The committee, comprising former Anna University Dean A.R. Shanthakumar, PWD Principal Chief Engineer (Building) R. Gopalakrishnan and officials of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority will work out possibilities of restoring Ezhilagam to its original beauty or build a ‘replica’, an official press release said.

The Commitee has been asked to inspect all heritage buildings in the city and submit a report on their safety by Ms. Jayalalithaa, it said.

The January 15 blaze had resulted in loss of property to the departments of Social Welfare and Industries located there to the tune of Rs. 2.7 crore, the release said, adding the Chief Minister allotted an initial sum of Rs. 2.46 crore towards purchasing furniture and stationery.

The fire at Ezhilagam killed a Fire and Rescue personnel and injured two others, including a senior Fire Officer.

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