Historic Minto Hall to be razed
Posted July 11, 2010on:
A historic building of Bhopal is soon going to become part of history. The State cabinet, presided over by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, has decided to lease the Minto Hall building and the adjoining 6.73-acre land, to some handpicked private operator on just Re One (yes, Rupee One) lease rent for 60 years, extendable by another 30 years, for construction of a convention-cum-trade centre and a posh hotel. Minto Hall, situated opposite Raj Bhavan, has had a colourful history. Its construction, spread over a score of years, was completed in 1909 and it had cost Rs three lakh then. Nawab Sultanjahan Begum had engaged A.C.Rovan as the main architect for designing this building for putting up the royal guests. Soon thereafter the Minto Hall was converted to an army cantonment. Later it housed the offices of the Inspector General of Police. The Defence Services and Civil Services were also established in the Minto Hall. Abida Sultan, the heir-apparent, discovered the new game of roller skates hockey to play on the floors of Minto Hall. In 1946, Bhopal’s prestigious Hamidia College started functioning in Minto Hall, pending the construction of the College’s own building. After Independence, the building was used as the Assembly of Madhya Pradesh till 1996 when the new Rs 60-crore building was constructed elsewhere. Since then, it has been used as the venue for holding exhibitions or workshops on contemporary topics.