Kuthirai Vandi Court - old colonial Court building of Coimbatore - restoration is on!!

Heritage structures and monuments continue to  act as a  link between  the present and by-gone era. It is obvious without them we not only lose the history of that region  but also the culture. When it comes to preserving the historical structure, in the last few years. the TN government has been taking serious steps in earnest to save them  before they lose their value, crumple and turn into dust.  Way back in March  2019 TN government  under the PWD identified a list of several  structures in urgent need of repairs across the state and chalked out  plan to  go about repair  and restoration work. The  structures  included  some  in Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam  and Coimbatore towns  and  they are  all colonial  buildings  constructed during the Raj.  PWD  started assessment of the condition of heritage buildings across the State before embarking on their restoration work.

Kuthiraivandi court, Coimbatore facebook.com

Kuthiraivandi court, Coimbatore in ruins.thehinduimages.com

Near Avinashi road  flyover,  Coimbatore city located  an old  court building on a big plot of 2.6 acres. Built in 1863 to house  judiciary magistrate  court this building was known for its high ceiling and huge columns   In the later  time  the locals used to call it   kuthiraivandi court- a wired name.    This particular court was popular for  fining the drivers of horse-drawn carts  for violation of road rules in the past during the colonial rule.. 

.Kuthiraivandi court, Coimbatore, TN simplicity.in

The government already  allotted  Rs 9 crore for repair and restoration  work and the work has been going on  in a full swing. PWD  is doing restoration after judicial recommendation and the structure has two  large  chambers with Madras terrace ceiling.  A masonry structure, mostly lime-mortar  and brick  were used in the construction.
Heritage restoration, Tamil Nadu. thehindu.com

A few years ago the old structure was severely damaged  caused by overgrowth of vegetation and trees. The tree   roots started growing into the thick walls, creating cracks and crevices. The  primary culprit was mechanical weathering caused by root wedging.  The wooden structure's, including the rafters in the ceiling  were badly damaged because of continuous  seepage during rainy seasons. On account of excess damages  major portion of the building could not be restored. However, the conservationists  were of the view that the old structure  could be replicated with modern techniques. They salvaged the old bricks as much as they could from the structure and followed the old technique  - using the same lime and mortar. The well-trained  carpenters are working on the wooden frames for doors, windows  and  rafters  in the roof marching the old ones. The restoration work got delayed owing to COVID 19 Pandemic  

The Public Works Department had  assessed 20 buildings, such as courts, schools and registration offices in various districts, including Chennai. They already renovated part of Chepauk Palace, a landmark building in Chennai. It suffered heavy damages in 2013. 

The PWD is also preparing estimates to renovate heritage structures in the city. “We are planning to renovate the roof of the Connemara library after a gap of 13 long years.  Also included are many Indo- Sarasonic buildings of Chennai  - Government Central Press, Mint, the historic tower clock building in Madras University and its roof will also be repaired. Chennai, particularly on  Kamarajar Salai,. Many of them lie neglected for a long time.  There is also a proposal  to renovate Governor's  Bungalow, another heritage building constructed in 1860 in Coimbatore, located on  Trochi Road, and convert it into a museum. The list  includes   Alamparai Fort on East Coast Road, Manora Fort in Thanjavur and structures in Gangaikondachola  Puram.  The awareness augurs well for the future of old structures of beauty and splendor.