British-era Patna SDO Office building in collectorate campus demolished

The new collectorate complex will also have an SDO block, and after the completion of the new complex by 2024, the SDO office will be shifted to it.

Patna: A British-era building used by the city’s sub-divisional officer (SDO) was on Tuesday demolished as the last of the landmarks that were part of the historic Patna Collectorate complex was consigned to history.

In the morning, passers-by watched as a bulldozer clawed down the single-storey elongated building, a few days after workers had removed its old louvred doors and windows.

The building was located in an eastern corner of the sprawling 12-acre campus of the centuries-old Patna Collectorate, where a redevelopment project is currently underway.

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It was endowed with arcaded corridors and housed the office of the Patna Sadar Division SDO. It also had an old courtroom with vintage furniture.

Patna district has six sub-divisions headed by an SDO each and 23 blocks headed by a block development officer (BDO) each, according to the website of the Patna district administration.

The six sub-divisions are — Patna Sadar, Patna City, Barh, Masuarhi, Danapur and Paliganj.

There are three blocks under Patna Sadar (main city) sub-division — Patna Sadar, Sampatchak and Phulwarisarif, according to the website.

The Patna Collectorate is the headquarters of the district administration, and the old Collectorate was a cluster of various heritage buildings located in the sprawling campus on the banks of River Ganga.

On May 13, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea by heritage body INTACH, which was fighting a legal battle since 2019 to save the landmark from demolition.

Its bulldozing started the very next day, and the 1938-built District Board Patna Building was the first to receive the blows. Endowed with ornamental pilaster Corinthian columns in its iconic Meeting Hall, it was pulled down by May 17.

The Dutch-era Record Room Building, which had high ceilings, massive doors and old and unique skylights on the roof, was also razed on May 17. A very small portion of the frontage has been spared so far, as the Record Room office is still occupying it.

The British-era district magistrate office building, district registry office with an Anglo-Dutch mix design and Dutch-era district engineer’s office building and two post-Independence structures were subsequently brought down to make way for the new high-rise Collectorate complex.

The Patna Sadar SDO Office was operating in the British-era building until recently.

“It was shifted to the Transit Hostel near Income Tax Golamber on Beer Chand Patel Marg around August 24. Eight flats on the ground floor have been taken up for the makeshift office of the Patna SDO,” a senior official said.

The new collectorate complex will also have an SDO block, and after the completion of the new complex by 2024, the SDO office will be shifted to it.

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