With the heritage review committee excluding Hindu Colony and its precincts, areas around and buildings in Parsi Colony and BDD chawls from the heritage list, the residents are rejoicing the move.
Being on the list meant several restrictions on the buildings in this area, if they had to make structural changes or undergo redevelopment.
The residents seemed relieved after a two-year process, which included getting suggestions to be included in the heritage list and them raising objections. They claimed since the Bombay high court (HC) order last year wa s already favourable, the committee report too was in their favour.
Raxit Pasad, secretary, Dadar Matunga Residents Association, said, “It was after we knocked the doors of the court and got a positive order that the committee has given us a reason to rejoice. After fighting for more than two years, the development of a building that needs it the most can be processed. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner should forward the report at the earliest and only then will it help the residents.”
The heritage review committee has heard over 2,000-odd suggestions and objections on why not being on the heritage list would work in their favour. Most of these buildings are in bad shape and require immediate attention.
The high court also heard the plight of the residents, while t he committee still worked on the report.
The residents claimed their arguments mentioned in the court were taken seriously by the committee as they feared that the heritage tag would be challenged later.
They, however, are also hopeful that the civic commissioner will forward the report at the earliest and the government too will accept it.
When the criticism over the proposed heritage list prepared by the committee was at peak and the Afzalpurkar committee was appointed to submit its report, the residents had challenged the move in the HC.
They then got interim relief and some redevelopment projects were processed further.
The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee ( MHCC) will now meet on April 7 to discuss this issue and decide if they needed to write to the government on this.
A member of the review committee said Sewree, Mahim, Worli and Sion forts will be retained under a special category of national monuments.
Requesting anonymity, he said, “The committee has given a report based on the suggestions and objections of the people. We do have preserved a lot of structures such as Dr Ambedkar’s home and also created a special category of national monuments for various forts in the city.”
V Ranganathan, the chairman of the MHCC, said, “We are yet to study the report and will meet on April 7 to decide whether to write to the government on this issue or not.”
The chairman of the heritage review committee, Dinesh Afzalpurkar, was however not available for comment.