The Indian Coffee House, a favourite haunt of many Puducherrians, has been shut down and moved to a temporary location. A banner, outside the more than 100-year-old building, announces that this heritage structure will be pulled down to make way for a new structure.
The 220-strong workers’ cooperative, which has been running the coffee house since 1958, now wants a “modern” building.
The Indian Coffee House Employees Cooperative Union (CITU) honorary president T. Murugan and president K. Ramachandran said the workers are awaiting permission from the Pondicherry Planning Authority (PPA). “We want funds from the Government, like they give to hotels for renovation. We will retain the French architectural patterns in the new building.”
Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, who recalled the days when he chatted with friends in the coffee house, has provided Rs. 50 lakh to construct the new building. The amount includes a Rs. 12.5-lakh loan. “We want a strong structure to come up so that the workers and guests will be safe in the building.”