The city’s development would slow down after more structures are included on the heritage list, say urban planners and architects.
The new list of heritage structure has added 967 more structures to it.
Experts are of the view that in a city like Mumbai — which has a lot of land and buildings on the heritage list — more heritage structures will lead to slower development and will affect the growth of a precinct.
“In a city like Mumbai, where the population is increasing at an alarmingly rate and the increasing need to build more homes, the heritage tag will act an impediment in the growth of the area,” said an urban planner, requesting anonymity.
The list includes 587 proposed additions — 214 in the western suburbs and 66 in the eastern suburbs. The new heritage list aims at including all those structures that were left out in the first list that covered south Mumbai till Bandra.
The list of heritage structures, a first for Mumbai, was first brought out in 1999.
“All these heritage buildings are not woven into the grand plan of Mumbai. Some heritage structures will obstruct the development of its vicinity,” said V.K. Phatak, town planner.
Sharada Dwivedi, a city-based historian and researcher, said that instead of notifying more structures the government should take steps to protect the existing structures.
“Poor planning and bad maintenance have led to the neglect of the listed structures,” she added.
The Grade-I probables on the list are precincts of Shivaji Park, Girgaum waterfront and BDD Chawl in Worli.
Structures that have a historical significance are characterised as Grade I and no structural changes are permitted.
Structures listed under Grade II are of local importance and only internal changes are allowed. Additions to II B structure are permitted.
Structures situated within 100 metre of a Grade I heritage monument is tagged as
Abha Narain Lambah, conservation architect, said that heritage doesn’t deny growth, but the growth should be sensitive to the character of the area. “The Grade III structures and buildings are the most endangered as a lot of them have already been de-listed to make way for redevelopment and to cluster development,” added Lambah.
The Practising Engineers, Architects and Town Planners Association (PEATA) had written a letter to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, the heritage arm of the civic body, for relaxation of development norms for Grade-III category. No decision has been taken so far.