Ring in the new, at the cost of heritage

One of the earliest government buildings in Thodupuzha, near the Press Club, will soon be a thing of the past with authorities deciding to replace it with a new building.

The Thodupuzha subregistrar office, a Raj-era building bearing the royal emblem
Shankhu
of erstwhile Travancore marked on it, attracts many a heritage lovers. Even when all old buildings that housed government offices were shifted to the mini civil station sometime back, this office survived despite its spatial limits.

However, the building will be demolished in a few days. The authorities plan to construct a new building having modern facilities in its place. The office files and documents have been shifted to a temporary office building behind the old Post Office in Thodupuzha. It is estimated that the building is over half a century old. It has the office files of land transfer in and around Thodupuzha for over a century. “The building is the oldest government office in Thodupuzha. In both the Raj era and after the formation of the State, it functioned as the registration office of land transfer and ownership of land,” Subregistar B. Ajith told
The Hindu
on Saturday.

Though minor changes and addition to the building were made over the years, the main structure remained intact. Now, lack of facilities prompted the revenue authorities to think about a new building amidst the demand for maintaining it a heritage building. The present building structure is too weak with leaking roofs, Mr Ajith said. Unlike other offices, the subregistrar office has important documents and files that need to be preserved for long. Hence it is sheer need that has prompted the authorities to remake the building into a modern, three-storeyed one. The new facility would cost Rs. 1 crore.

However, heritage enthusiasts such as Saffer V.M. beg to differ. According to Mr. Saffer, now on a project to collect details of historic remains in the district, if possible the building should be maintained as such. The district has a history dating back to the stone age and such buildings are milestones that shed light on the past. The government has maintained the British-made bridge at Vandiperiyar on Kollam-Theni National Highway and constructed another one near to it. So with due efforts, alternative land could be found to cater to the changing times, preserving the subregistrar building as it is, he said.

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