As a part of the initiative, the city’s Presidency College, Queen Mary’s College and Madras University, which are more than 100 years old, will be renovated and maintained by the government. In addition, the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam is also set for a revamp.
Presidency College is the first institution established by the British India government in 1840 before the Madras University was established in 1857. Queen Mary’s College, the scenic and sprawling campus spread across 17 acres and located on the famed Marina, is a pioneer in empowering women through education with its establishment dating back to 1914. Set up in 1854, the Kumbakonam college was also one of the oldest educational institutions.
A senior official of the Higher Education Department told DT Next on Monday that people of Tamil Nadu attach a lot of importance to education. Some of the oldest institutions were established in Chennai, the former Madras Presidency, and hold a lot of heritage value. “Apart from renovating, all the repair works will be undertaken without modifying the heritage structures. The government will spend Rs 3.20 crore for the maintenance of Presidency College campus in the city. In addition, a new hostel building for boys will be constructed in the college campus at a cost of Rs 10 crore.” Similarly, Rs 6.04 crore has been allocated for renovating the Queen Mary’s College heritage building.
Structures in the Madras University campus such as the library building, watch tower block, oriental research building and centenary building will be renovated to safeguard their antiquity at a cost of Rs 5 crore. The official said tender has been floated already to begin the work by November.
A committee comprising PWD officials and authorities from the Building Centre and Conservation Division has been formed to monitor the renovation works of the heritage buildings. “The maintenance work of these buildings is expected to be completed in around six months,” the official said.