Wednesday, March 18, 2009

INTACH re-listing heritage structures in city

INTACH re-listing heritage structures in city

Sharath S. Srivatsa
The meticulous segregation will also include intangible heritage such as fairs and festivals
The exercise is expected to be completed

by 2010

15 per cent monuments identified in the previous census are gone

— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

In focus: The survey will include listing of tangible heritage and material heritage such as sculptures.
BANGALORE: Even as heritage structures in Bangalore are making way for glitzy modern structures, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has embarked on re-listing of heritage monuments as well as the intangible heritage. A similar exercise by INTACH in 1980s had identified about 800 heritage monuments of which many have vanished from the city’s landscape.

The listing work, which started in October 2008, is expected to be completed by the early part of 2010, and so far students and volunteers for INTACH have completed listing of monuments in the military areas and Cubbon Park.

“We have taken up the re-listing of heritage monuments on a scientific basis. Development may have cost us about 15 per cent of monuments that were identified in the previous census,” H.R. Pratibha, INTACH’s Bangalore Chapter Convener, told The Hindu.

This comprehensive survey will include listing of tangible heritage such as the natural heritage, built heritage and heritage precincts and material heritage such as sculptures.

Besides, it would also look at intangible heritage such as fairs and festivals associated with Bangalore and informal heritage in terms of informal markets of the city such as the flower market at K.R Market.

Even a regulation proposed by Heritage Commissioner for conservation of heritage sites, including buildings, heritage precincts and natural features, which is pending for approval, entails listing of buildings, artefacts, structures, areas, precincts of historic, aesthetic, architectural, cultural or environmental significance.

In the next phase, listing of buildings would be taken up at older areas of the city, including Ulsoor, Basavanagudi, Old Gavipuram area, Fort area including Balepet and City Market area. Once the overall listing is completed, the INTACH plans to segregate monuments based on the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards. “This segregation would at a later stage help in conservation, especially once legislation to preserve these monuments is put in place,” Ms. Pratibha said.

“The idea of listing is to find out the heritage stock and to know what extent of heritage is surviving in Bangalore since we do not have information,” Pankaj Modi, a conservation architect who is overseeing the project, said.

“Certain regulations are required to protect the heritage buildings from being demolished or to protect the characteristics of the heritage precincts. If legislation comes into effect, this database will help in protection of heritage structures,” he added.

“Any city is dynamic and conservation is not against development. It is the way we manage change that the place will witness and also to see the change is positive in heritage precincts,” Mr. Modi said.

He said: “Finally what we want is protection of heritage monuments on the lines of those that are present in Hyderabad, Nagpur and Mumbai.” To explain intangible heritage associated with Bangalore such as Karaga and Kadlekai Parishe, he said, INTACH would rope in experts from the field.

Due to development pressure, INTACH is anticipating reluctance on the part of owners of heritage structures in revealing information about their buildings, and this is especially true with private building owners in Cox Town, Frazer Town and others in Cantonment area.


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