Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): The new administrative complex of Ujjain has been completed with the expenditure of about Rs 27 crore. It will be inaugurated by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on May 26. From parking to public service guarantee centre, all will be there inside the four-storey building. It has been proposed to convert the existing administrative building (Kothi Palace or Vikramaditya Palace) into a heritage hotel after the collector and commissioner's office get shifted to the administrative building.
On Monday, higher education minister Mohan Yadav, MP Anil Firojia and MLA Paras Jain spoke to the media to reiterate their developmental claims for Ujjain. In the press conference old talk of development was repeated once again. However, the construction of the administrative complex is a new addition. The building has been completed near Kothi Palace. Parking and Public Service Guarantee Centre will be there on the ground floor of the four-storey building. On the first floor there will be offices of SDM and tehsildars. The collector’s office will be on the second floor and the commissioner’s office on the third floor. There will be 5 lifts to go to the upper floors of the building. One of these will have a capacity of 28 and the other will have a capacity of 13 persons.
500 two-wheelers and 40 four-wheelers can be parked in the parking lot of the building. 49 rooms have been built on the first floor of the complex and 44 rooms on the second floor and officers will sit in these rooms. There are 25 rooms on the third floor and the office of the divisional commissioner will be there. There are separate toilet blocks for men and women on each floor. The construction of the building, costing Rs 27 crore 16 lakh, started in 2016. It was to be completed in two years that is in 2018 but it was delayed for four years from its scheduled time.
According to the minister, name of the new administrative complex building will be the same, i.e., Vikramaditya Palace. MP Firojia said that efforts would be made to shift present offices of IG, DIG and SP at the new administrative building. He said that about 20 years ago, offices of senior police officers were located in Kothi Palace alone and people found it convenient to meet all of the senior civil and police officials at one place only to resolve their issues at that time.
Yadav said that Kothi Palace will be used as a heritage hotel. Similarly, there are plans to develop Kaliadeh Palace as well, although this property is owned by Scindia Trust and thus Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will be taken into confidence. Instructions have been given to MP Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) to work in this direction. Talks were also on with private entrepreneurs to operate heritage hotels at Kothi Palace and Kaliadeh Palace, the minister said.
KOTHI PALACE WHICH IS KNOWN AS VIKRAMADITYA PALACE | FP Photo
SCINDIA REFUSED TO STAY HERE
The present Kothi Palace or Vikramaditya Bhavan was built in the year 1887 with an expenditure of Rs 8 lakh. A mixture of Indian, Muslim and British architectecture, this place was rejected for stay by the then ruler Madhavrao Scindia. According to Ashwini Research Institute’s president RC Thakur, the building which was known as Nai Kothi was in fact a ‘Rajwada’ and it was actually residence of the Scindia ruler. But he rejected to stay there. Initially, present ‘Maharajwada’ building which is located near Mahakaleshwar temple used to be the residence of the Scindia rulers as Ujjain used to be their capital. But, after shifting of capital to Gwalior in the year 1810 and looking at the dilapidated condition of Maharajwada building, necessity of a new residence came to fore and that is why Kothi Palace was constructed later. “But when Madhavrao Scindia came to Ujjain in the year 1897 to stay in the new building, he did not find it suitable for the purpose and refused”, Dr Thakur said and it was later turned into a government office. Later, Kaliadeh Palace was built on the banks of river Kshipra in Bhairavgarh area on the outskirts of Ujjain where all the rulers of Scindia Estate used to stay during their arrival.
MCC IN MIND
The ruling BJP seems to be in a state of haste owing to model code of conduct (MCC) to be enforced in view of the upcoming elections to panchayat and local urban bodies. Most of the party leaders and those in government can be heard saying the State Election Commission (SEC) may impose the MCC anytime after May 30 and that’s why dedication, inauguration and bhoomi-pujan programmes are being organised in bulk and continuation, both. As far as the inauguration of new administrative building is concerned, it is still not completed and various works are still in progress. Yet the inauguration programme has been finalised before the promulgation of MCC.