Heritage conservationists are unhappy with the provisions mentioned in the draft development control regulations (DCR) 2034. The chairman of the Heritage Review Committee and former chairman of Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee Dinesh Afzalpurkar along with other experts pointed out that the citizens owning heritage properties should get monetary compensation that should be part of the city’s DCR. Afzalpurkar also stated that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should maintain various the statues in the Island city that are in a shoddy condition.
In a panel discussion — a part of Heritage Conservation conference, The Future of Our Past — organised by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Thursday, Afzalpurkar along with other conservationists and activists such as Abha Narain Lambah, Cyrus Guzder, Tasneem Mehta, discussed preserving the heritage value of the city. Additional municipal commissioner, Pallavi Darade represented BMC in the panel discussion. During the discussion, the experts said that there was a need to bring in more awareness and also involvement of citizens for preserving the heritage sites and buildings in the city.
Afzalpurkar also said other significant places outside Mumbai should also be paid attention to like in Pune, where several cemeteries are of utmost importance as several soldiers were buried there who had fought for the country’s independence. He also pointed out the how statues in the Island city were ill-maintained and how the BMC should also mention the history of the statue for citizens to understand its importance.
The Heritage Review Committee chairman said, “People should be compensated for preserving the heritage structures as many private owners feel this is a burden on them. The rules that have been introduced in this regard are not marketable and owners must be given incentives to preserve the heritage structures.” Echoing the thoughts of Afzalpurkar, Cyrus Guzder said, “For better future of our history, citizens and government should actively participate in conservation.”
Here, BMC’s Darade added, “The civic body has been the first corporation to frame rules and preserve its heritage structures, which was later replicated by other states.”
Even in the past, before the DCR was drafted, former heritage committee chairmen had sent recommendations to the BMC, asking them to provide incentives to the owners but the efforts went in vain.
Also during the discussion, Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of ORF said, “We will be coming out with a Mumbai declaration on heritage conservation which will be an outcome of the conference. South asian centre for heritage protection, conservation and development will be formed.”
Meanwhile, after the panel discussion, Tasmeen Mehta, the director of Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla made a presentation on the conservation measures to preserve Bhaudaji Lad Museum.