Is renovated colonial Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Court building, Chennai being used by the court?

Chennai Egmore metropolitan magistrate

.Chennai Egmore metropolitan magistrate

The Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Court (on Athithanar salai) where the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), two additional CMMs and 10 magistrates sit, is one of the oldest  and busiest courts in  Chennai  and was established during the colonial period. In 2017 as part of  TN government's ambitious proposal to renovate  classified heritage structures across the state,  a decision was made to take up renovation work on the old court building.  The work  was done by the  the Public Works Department (PWD in consultation with the National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures and also  the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), Delhi chapter  in order to retain the heritage value of the vintage building. The structure lost its splendor long ago overshadowed by grime look.

.Chennai Egmore metropolitan magistrate Court.

The work was  completed in March 2019 at a cost of  Rs. 5 crore. The conservation experts of INTACH were  particular about removing incongruent later additions that would downgrade the heritage value of the buildings. The work involved restoration of architectural features that had either vanished or heavily damaged, Mogul plastering on the walls with experienced masons, decoration and above all waterproofing of the structures. The focus was more on the structural stability and longer life of the building than any other aspects. yet another plus was eco-friendly construction materials were used to retain its aesthetic value with traditional method.  Kadukkai, curd, palm jaggery, white portion of egg and lime were used by the masons   as per the archaeological and preservation technology

Until recent past  the people were asking why this renovated court building had been lying idle and was not yet open to public. The court was operating in  Allikulam Market Campus from 2015 awaiting the completion of  a new modern multi-storeyed court complex at an estimate cost of Rs 26 crore.

The other court in  George Town dating  back to the 19 century is also  built in  Indo-Saracenic architecture and need restoration because of poor upkeep and cramped court rooms.  The red-brick Saidapet court building  developed cracks in the structure and the primary damages were due to to water seepage particularly during the rainy season.

The PWD took meticulous care and renovated the Egmore court building on time, however  ''the Heritage Committee of the High Court" delayed the shifting of the  fast track courts and land-grabbing offence courts functioning at Allikulam Court . In January, 2013  the high court’s registrar-general issued a notification that said: “For accommodating courts, about 20,000-sq. ft. built-up area is required at Egmore, George Town and Saidapet with parking space, water supply and electricity for about two years.The new structure  court complex would be provided with  12 large  court halls, four lifts and facilities for physically challenging people with adequate parking facility.

Established in 1916 by the British Presidency government in Egmore, (Saidapet and George Town courts came up later) for timely disposal of mounting court cases, the colonial  building was poorly taken care of. Since the old buildings in Egmore  have remained idle with no activity, tourists and lovers of  old architecture visit the site  that has well-designed arcaded halls, grand timber staircases for ready access to upper floors, beautiful windows and quality rosewood doors the look of the building got the attention of the public and the passersby in this area.  It is a single-storey Indo-Saracenic style building, with 15 to 18 rooms covering 16800 sq ft. It is not yet clear weather the renovated Egmore metropolitan court building was re-occupied by the court or moved over to the modern court complex!!