Chennai, Sep 2: A committee formed pursuant to a Madras High Court order submitted the Salem Collectorate Building was ''architecturally not very significant except for the fact it follows the colonial style of architecture with huge halls/long verandas as was in vogue then.'' This was stated by Salem Collector N Mathivanan in his counter to a writ petition filed by S Manoharan, All India General Secretary, Indian Association of People's Lawyers, Chennai.
The Collector, Chief Secretary, DGP and Minister for Agriculture S Veerapandi Arumugam were among the respondents. The petition relates to the alleged forcible eviction of 31 families from the Angammal Colony, Salem and demolition of the Collectorate building.
The Collector said following a petition by advocate P Damayanthi, demanding the Main Collectorate Building, constructed 180 years ago, be preserved as a heritage building and an ancient monument, the High Court directed the petitioner to make a representation to authorities, who would consider it for necessary orders.
Following the High Court order, demolition of the building was stopped on July eight and a committee formed to examine the status of the building.
The Superintending Archaeologist said the buildings apparently had no historical significance as no reference to them was seen in the relevant Salem Gazetteer.
The memorial plaque of the First World War and of T L R Chandran, ICS, First Officer, Prohibition, Salem, now kept in the Camp Office of the Collector, may be reaffixed at appropriate places.
It was absolutely false to allege the district and police were totally turned off and remained ineffective to contain the breach of law and order, the Collector claimed.
On eviction from Angammal Colony, the Collector said the actual residents had not made any complaint clearly showing there was no illegal eviction.