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Heritage Week Special : Old NMC building at Main Road suffering negligence

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Prashant Nikale
Nashik: The Old Nashik Municipal building at Main Road Nashik is suffering negligence. Trees have grown from all sides of the building, several cracks have gone through the wall and some stone blocks are also missing.

The structure has become dangerous because of the negligence of the civic body, though the citizens have complained about it in Nashik Municipal Corporation. The building which is being neglected has very historic value. The old building of then municipal council was constructed at the cost of just Rs 1. Surprising, but it’s true.

The reason behind such a nominal cost is that it was to penalise the building contractor for missing the deadline and some irregularities that were found in the bills submitted by the contractor. After the formation of Nashik Municipal Council in the beginning of the 1900s the demand for a separate municipal council office began to rise.

As a result, after a survey, the Government of Bombay under the British Raj sanctioned the project to construct the municipal council office. According to the civic records the building was to be constructed at an estimated cost of around rupees five lakhs and within a time span of two years.

But when the British officials inspected the building they found that there were some lacunae to the contract. Some irregularities were observed in the work and as a result, the Government of Bombay initiated a probe into the issue.

At the same time, the government ordered the contractor to complete the construction work as per the specifications mentioned in the contract. Consequently, the contractor had to reconstruct almost the entire structure as the British government’s norms. Due to this, the deadline for completing the construction was missed as well as it took a year’s time for completing the work.

However, by the completion of the building the probe had also completed and acted on the report, the British government decided to penalize the contractor. As a result, after the completion of the construction work, the British officials once again surveyed the building and approved the structure which was built as per their norms.

Thereafter, acting on the government decision the contractor was punished and was paid a sum of just Re 1 for delaying the construction work by one year and the irregularities found.  Meanwhile, even today a cornerstone placed at the entrance of the old municipal council building mentions the construction cost as Re 1.

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