Construction work on the much-awaited third building of Calcutta High Court will start shortly, with a sum of Rs 1.5 crore already sanctioned by the state government for the first phase. A matching grant from the Centre will be channelised soon, a high court spokesman said.
The new building will come up adjacent to the high court’s centenary building, on the land opposite the west gate of Assembly House, where a tram depot was located previously. The 10-storeyed highrise will house courtrooms and provide seating accommodation for at least 4,000 lawyers. A few offices will be shifted here from the old building, too.
State advocate-general Balai Ray said the third building has been a long-time demand from both the Bar and the court bench. But construction work was delayed due to some disputes over allocation of land.
Ray admitted to a tussle between the Assembly House and the high court over the plot for the proposed building. “The Assembly owned the plot, but the government had handed it over to the high court for constructing new buildings. For quite a long period, however, the owners were not interested in vacating the plot,” he explained.
More than 2,000 employees in the high court’s 42 major departments operate out of the old building. Due to an acute space crisis, some offices are also run from the corridors. “All such sections will be shifted to the new building,” said a court official.
High Court Bar Association former secretary Uttam Majumdar told Metro: “Of the 5,000 association members, only 490 have seats in 14 rooms. The other 4,000 lawyers have accommodated themselves in the corridors. We believe that most of them will be provided space in the new building.”
Once the third building is completed, the Public Works Department (PWD) will start renovation work on a portion of the old building, that has been declared “condemned” by the civic authorities.