STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 7 February
The North Bengal development department (NBDD) plans to convert the proposed guesthouse at Uttarkanya into an apex building to accommodate 18 departmental officials and staffs. The idea is to solve the space constraint problem in the main building of the state&’s branch secretariat here in Siliguri.
The guesthouse plan had to be changed in view of the present accommodation position of the main building. Associated engineers had informed the authorities concerned that secretaries of 18 departments and their assistants could start working from there.
Uttarkanya was inaugurated on 20 January after the completion of the ground floor and the first floor that has tin roofs. The Chief Minister&’s Office and the NBDD have been accommodated on the ground floor, leaving no room for the other departments. Only the first floor, which is around 1700 square metres, is available for the other 16 departmental heads. Workers are toiling hard to complete the first floor ahead of the visit of chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, who is scheduled to hold a Cabinet meeting at Uttarkanya on 11 February. Sources said the decision to convert the guest house into an apex building was taken in November last year and that the NBDD&’s engineering division would revise the design of the proposed guest house. However, officials associated with the construction company alleged that the work was being delayed because the revised designed was yet to be readied. The base area of the apex building is around 3,500 sq metres. It was decided that after the completion of the ground floor, two more floors would be constructed to accommodate all the 18 departments.
The NBDD secretary, Mr Manoj Agarwal, said: “There is no question of any delay. The apex building will be completed within June this year to accommodate all departmental officials and staff, except the secretaries.”
“Another single storey building will be constructed as a guest house on the Uttarkanya premises,” Mr Agarwal said over telephone.
Engineering Projects India Limited, a Central government enterprise, under the minister of Heavy Industry, was asked to complete Uttarkanya&’s main building and the apex building.