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Ancient Kolkata church to be renovated

Sept. 1, 2013

One of the oldest churches in Kolkata and a national monument, St. John’s Church is set to get a facelift through restoration.

According to Reverend Pradeep Kumar Nanda, Presbyter in-charge of the church, plans are also afoot to renovate both the exterior and interior facade of the church, install fountains inside the compound, make new pathways, develop car parking area and repair and paint the bishops’ bungalow among others. This is part of the renovation and restoration task likely to be taken up by the West Bengal Tourism Department in association with the Public Works Department (PWD), Rev. Nanda said.

“Since this is a national monument, we have already initiated measures to restore some of the collections kept here. Recently, the State government and the PWD came forward to fund the external and internal renovation of the church,” he added. According to him, the project, which is likely to commence before the Durga Puja festivities in October this year, might take about seven to eight months for completion. The government is likely to incur expenditure of 40 million rupees for the restoration project.

The PWD has already engaged an architect as consultant for the project. “The architect is likely to submit his report in the next 15-20 days. We will then firm up our plan and give it to the church for its approval before embarking on the task of restoration and beautification,” a senior PWD official said. The primary focus would be on water-proofing and ensuring structural stability before embarking on the task of landscaping and beautifying the internal facade, he added. Established in 1787, St. John’s Church was originally believed to have been a cathedral. It is one of the oldest churches in Kolkata and has been declared as “a protected monument” by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The church houses several historic monuments including the Black Hole of Calcutta and the Second Rohilla War Memorial among others.

Source: UCAN

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