Even as locals, developers and politicians have hit the streets to condemn granting of heritage grade-I status to Shivaji Park precincts on the civic body’s proposed list, officials and heritage experts claimed that the grade was, in fact, an outcome of a ‘typographical’ error.
According to officials, heritage precincts, which include a cluster of buildings possessing similar characteristic features of historic or cultural value, cannot be graded.
“There seems to be a typographical error in the list. It is not possible to give a common grade to precincts,” said Prasad Shetty, secretary, Mumbai Metropolitan Region-Heritage Conservation Society (MMR-HCS), the body commissioned by the civic body to prepare a detailed report of heritage precincts and structures in the city. “We do not have any guidelines for precincts on the basis of which redevelopment work can be permitted. We will follow it up with the civic body’s development plan department.”
The proposed list has given heritage grade II-A status to Hindu Colony, heritage grade III status to Bombay Development Directorate Chawls in Worli and heritage grade II-A status to Parsi Colony.
“Heritage precincts are determined on the basis of a cohesive heritage value. Even as buildings listed under the precinct can be individually graded, the precinct as a whole, cannot be graded,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director, Urban Design Research Institute.
“Since a heritage precinct includes a group of buildings, how can a common heritage grade be given?” asked DM Sukthankar, former committee chairperson. “There could be an error on the list because even on the existing list, heritage precincts have not been graded.”"There are a few typographical errors on the list. We will take cognisance of the issue after the September 30 deadline to invite suggestions and oppositions is met," said an official from the development plan department.