Rewriting history: Mamata Banerjee bids adiue to iconic Writers’ Building, inaugurates new Secretariat in Howrah

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday inaugurated the new state secretariat located in Howrah. For the first time in its history, the State Secretariat has been moved out of the historic Writers’ Building. Similarly, in another first, Kolkata’s twin city Howrah will now be the seat of power in Bengal.

The newly built 14-storied HRBC building in Howrah will now be the new seat of power in Bengal. The entire administration, including the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) and 11 other departments have been shifted to the new complex.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had announced the decision in August, formally inaugurated the new complex by hoisting the triclour and received a guard of honour on the occasion. The new complex has been christened ‘Nabanna’ or ‘new harvest’ by Mamata herself

On August 7, the government had announced its decision to shift the secretariat as the historic Writer’s Building was in dire need for restoration and renovation.

“Repeated expansions and additions over the years have made the Writers’ building unsafe. It has turned into a tinderbox because of unplanned constructions. I want to ensure safety of my employees,” Mamata had told reporters after making the announcement in August.

In recent times, there have been several small incidents of fire at the secretariat and experts feel a complete overhaul is necessary. A team of experts have already been appointed to carry out the project.

The iconic building that has been the seat of power for several decades was constructed in the early 18th century and the restoration project is estimated to cost around Rs.200 crore.

While external facade of the building will remain exactly the same, all internal constructions that were added post independence, to give space to new departments, will be demolished.

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