Awaiting revamp: Audrey house in Ranchi
Audrey House, a prime address of the Jharkhand government waiting for revamp since 2009, is now mutely looking up to deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto, who happens to hold the art and culture portfolio, for speedy succour.
The renovation of this majestic yet neglected colonial edifice on Kanke Road in the capital was waiting to happen since 2009.
Mired in red tape, the project suffered delays till date. But on Tuesday, the file of the project finally reached Sudesh Mahto, said officials.
Confirming this, state art and culture secretary A.K. Singh told The Telegraph that renovation work had to be done in two phases.
“The Phase I file went to the minister yesterday. After his consent, it will head for technical sanctions. Thereafter, Ranchi deputy commissioner will be empowered to release funds,” said Singh.
But this “speedy movement” failed the litmus test of deadline. Singh didn’t comment on any timeframe. “The ball is in the minister’s court now,” he said.
Mahto stayed incommunicado on Wednesday evening.
Intach state convener S.D. Singh, involved with technical aspects such as conservation, however sounded happy with the development.
“Funds aren’t the problem. Sanctions for both phases were sought for two-three years now. Money was lying idle. We did our bit by preparing detailed project reports but the file was stuck in some channel. I hope the minister will put it on the fast track,” Singh said.
Sources said roughly over Rs 6 crore was sanctioned to revamp Audrey House.
In Phase I, activities include conservation of the main building. In Phase II, a museum, a library-cum-resource hub, an art conservation centre, a convention hall, an open-air theatre of 800 capacity and a rural hut depicting tribal life will be on cards.
The Telegraph had highlighted the crumbling state of the building dating back to 1857 several times. The crumbling part of the colonial mansion was once the extension to the governor’s secretariat.
Seeing matters move at a snail’s pace, Governor Syed Ahmed intervened in July this year, asking Intach and art and culture department to speed up revamp of Audrey House.
He had told The Telegraph that he wanted to rename it Indira Gandhi Museum.