Monday, July 12, 2004

TOI takes a peek into upcoming Vikasa Soudha

Vikasa Soudha stands tall
By Sowmya Aji Mehu/TNN

Bangalore: In a brand makeover for Karnataka, come September, the chunk of government business will move to a hi-tech, stateof-the-art building ‘Vikasa Soudha’, boasted as a ‘model’ office for the whole country.

Former chief minister S.M. Krishna had inaugurated it prior before the elections and spent some time in the CM’s chamber. But now it will be his successor N. Dharam Singh who will have the privilege of using the swanky office.

The building is breezy with light, space and air-movement getting the top billing. And it is truly Vikasa (developed) and handicappedfriendly with ramps and special toilets. Solar lighting, rainwater harvesting, glass capsule lifts, hydropneumatic water systems, hi-tech surveillance units biometric attendance register... you name it — Vikasa Soudha has it all.

Constructed by more than 1,200 workers over a period of three years, the building belies all notions of a government office. The exterior is a mirror image of Vidhana Soudha, but the interiors, designed by the NID, Ahmedabad, is a dramatic shift from all known ‘looks’ of a government building. The drab grey of a typical office has vanished, no more fileheaped and scarred wood tables, all you could see is gleaming floors, swanky, post-modern furniture and ‘workstations’ with sleek PCs.

PWD engineers sprout unfamiliar language: “Everything’s colour-coordinated, spaces flow in modular units. Lighting is based on measured lux levels (luminous intensity) ...’’

The eight-floor structure’s USPs are too many to count. Video-conferencing for e-governance? Waltz into the two ready-to-use halls. Meetings? What size you want — it has 15 air-conditioned halls for an intimate 15 to a full-scale 350.

All 120-odd rooms are e-linked through LAN and cable, electrical, telephone and computer wires come via pipes in the flooring.

And the fallout: no furniture can be moved. “No vaastu or other sentimental reasons. No furniture can be moved, be it the CM, ministers or officials,’’ an engineer said.
Going one-up on big brother Vidhana, the ornamental window sills (concrete in the old building) is of stone. Stone posts, carved a la Badami or Hampi, support streamlined pipes of staircases. With the water table buoyant under Vikasa Soudha, sub-surface drainage has been designed to let out excess groundwater to Cubbon Park.

Will accommodate:

14 ministers, 19 department secretaries.

Raisons d’etre:

Bringing all government offices under one roof and saving annual rent of Rs 5.5
crore for buildings spread all over the city.


Eight, three basements for parking 600 cars; parking for another 400 vehicles at the
ground floor.


Four, providing light to all rooms and corridors.


Grill compound around Vidhana Soudha will cover Vikasa Soudha as a single unit. Boom
barriers at all gates, CCTV and surveillance designed as per CISF recommendations.


72 meters connecting Vidhana and Vikasa Soudha to ensure confidential movement
of personnel and files.


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