The office of the Lieutenant-Governor on Tuesday asked the Municipal Corporation (MCD) to take repairs and restoration measures for the building housing Bengali Club. The club, a heritage institution, currently functions from a dilapidated building in the Kashmere Gate area.
LG office’s intervention comes weeks after Hindustan Times had focused on the pathetic condition of one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city, particularly after a speeding truck damaged the wrought iron pillar supporting the balcony of the building.
Also, the roof of the over 80-year-old building with elaborate wrought iron balustrade had cracked with seepage in the old walls and leakage on the roof.
The 1925-built building right next to the Kashmere Gate wall is part of the gazette notification listing 746 heritage buildings and structures under the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Therefore, any repairs or renovation need to go through complicated procedure. The Bengali Club body is one of the tenants and the owner is reportedly not interested in repairs.
Ranjan Mukherjee, officer on special duty to the LG, said, “The heritage notification of February 2010 clearly lists Bengali Club under the precincts and buildings. The building’s importance is because of the club.”
Mukherjee has written a letter to the MCD and also called up deputy commissioner (Civil Lines) in this connection.
The letter also asks for an Action Taken Report for LG.
MCD’s Director Press and Information officer Deep Mathur said, “The Bengali Club is part of the list of notified heritage buildings and structures under MCD's jurisdiction. So for any repairs or renovation, the proposal needs to be approved by the Supreme Court's Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC). We will send the facts to the HCC and will take action according to its directions.”