Monday, April 15, 2024

Historic Queen Victoria Pavilion cries for attention

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The Queen Victoria Pavilion, a historic monument in Visakhapatnam meticulously restored by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) in 2016, now faces an uncertain future due to neglect and environmental factors. Originally built in 1904, the Pavilion underwent extensive restoration work in 2016, including sandblasting of walls, meticulous cleaning of the statue, repair of steps, and a fresh coat of paint on the dome. The result was a shining testament to the city’s heritage.
However, after eight years, neglect has taken its toll. The once-pristine structure now bears coal dust from the nearby port coal storage, encrusting the masonry and tarnishing the statue. Plant roots have caused cracks, while the surrounding area has become a gathering spot, with encroaching vehicles.
Sohan Hatangadi, founder and vice-president of the Greater Visakha Citizens’ Forum, expressed grave concern over the Pavilion’s state. He warned of structural collapse without immediate intervention and advocated for restoration efforts and ongoing maintenance, particularly as old town roads expand.
In a plea to the GVMC, Hatangadi sought prioritisation of heritage preservation over superficial enhancements, emphasising the Pavilion’s significance to Visakhapatnam’s history and identity. As the fate of the Queen Victoria Pavilion hangs in the balance, Visakhapatnam awaits GVMC’s response.

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