Kochi: The Hill Palace museum in Tripunithura is all set to get a facelift this summer. The expansion work has started at the Hill Palace utilizing central-state government funds. Environment-friendly plans are being drafted with a self-sufficient campus in mind, providing enough drinking water apart from other things. Revival of the shelved plan for a light and sound show center is also under consideration.
Exhibition centers in the palace are being modernized using latest technology. More convenient places will be readied for relaxation of visiting public. The state government has granted Rs 60 lakhs for the expansion of the museum. It has set apart Rs 3 crores this year for modernization of museums.
Director of archives J. Rejikumar said Rs 60 lakhs have been allotted for the first stage of expansion. All projects in the 52-acre museum cannot be completed at a single stretch. Hence, the first step is to complete the survey of the property. The survey will first record location of ponds, wells, buildings and gardens in the campus.
The campus has 10 ponds and several wells. These ponds and wells will be cleaned and used for rainwater storage. That will improve availability of water in the campus. It can also help solve water scarcity in the neighborhood. Some of the short compound walls need to be rebuilt to improve security. Security officials who guard so many valuable exhibits in the campus will be provided with enough basic facilities.
The director said the children's park will also be modernised. Ninety percent of its work is over and it will soon be opened to public. All 49 buildings in the palace have been painted and spruced up. Leakage in some buildings need to be fixed. Once that is done, the first phase of the work will be over.
Light and sound show
This plan was shelved after inviting interested parties once. The idea was to organize a fascinating show that will also cover the history of Kochi. Two companies showed interest but pulled out later. It seems they were worried of the technical problems that could arise from running the show for a year continuously. The project is being revived now.
The show can be run only after 7pm, which means entry to the museum building will have to be made more secure. Authorities said this can be done by tightening security to the area where the show is staged.