Saturday, April 21, 2007

Some areas in Bangalore to be heritage pockets

Some areas in Bangalore to be heritage pockets
The Hindu

Some areas of the city will be declared heritage pockets

IMPOSING: The Central Library in Bangalore's Cubbon Park

BANGALORE: Heritage structures in Bangalore could get some State protection in future. With real-estate development leading to the demolition of such structures, the Heritage Department of the State Government is thinking of declaring some areas of Bangalore `heritage pockets' to enable their conservation.

The heritage pockets could be a reality by 2008. They assume importance in the absence of guidelines to protect monuments in Bangalore.

Mumbai and Hyderabad have guidelines to protect heritage monuments, while guidelines to protect monuments in Mysore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission is pending before the Government.


Areas that could be identified as heritage pockets include the Cantonment area, the Vidhana Soudha and surrounding areas, some buildings on Mahatma Gandhi Road and many colonial buildings. Rama mandiras in several old localities also qualify for heritage status, and they could also be involved in conservation efforts, an official of the Heritage Department told The Hindu .

Several roads have been identified that have potential to become heritage pockets. "Bangalore once boasted roads that were associated with trades/professions from the time of Kempe Gowda (who is credited with founding the city). There are 90 such roads in Bangalore, and many of them have retained their heritage component," the official said.

It is not difficult to identity heritage structures, since the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage has drawn up a comprehensive list of heritage monuments in Bangalore. In fact, 741 monuments have been identified by the Trust, the official said.

Besides, the now dissolved Bangalore Urban Arts Commission had worked for the conservation of heritage structures, which will be valuable in fresh attempts at conservation. The former Chief Secretary T.P. Issar's "City Beautiful" also provides an insight into Bangalore's rich cultural past.

Terming the proposal a positive move, INTACH Bangalore convener H.R. Prathiba said, "Declaring heritage pockets would definitely create awareness on heritage conservation among the public and the bureaucracy. Monuments cannot be brought down without the approval of the authorities." She also said the Government should formulate conservation guidelines to protect monuments, as they are legally binding.


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