Not in DP? Heritage status may go | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Not in DP? Heritage status may go

The iconic Asiatic Library, Bandra fort, Oval Maidan, Elphinstone College, Radio Club, Central Telegraph Office, the army and navy buildings in Colaba and many other structures that define the city may lose their heritage identity, fear conservationists.

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2015 00:47 IST
Vaishnavi Vasudevan

The iconic Asiatic Library, Bandra fort, Oval Maidan, Elphinstone College, Radio Club, Central Telegraph Office, the army and navy buildings in Colaba and many other structures that define the city may lose their heritage identity, fear conservationists.

They are worried that if the proposed development plan (DP) is implemented, more than 1,000 heritage buildings in the city will be done away with in the name of development.

“Since many of these structures have not been marked in the proposed plan, they will become vulnerable and open to development,” said V Ranganthan, chairman, Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee.

Ranganthan said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot afford to ignore the issue. “The new regulations proposed by the BMC have stated that only those buildings that have been marked as heritage structure will fit into the provisions of heritage conservation norms. The rest can pave way for development. There will also be no permission required from the MHCC to carry out any work. The city will lose its art deco and heritage identity,” he said.

This also means that the proposed heritage list will hold no meaning. “The list we proposed in 2012 will lose its character if the structures are not marked in the development plan,” said Ranganthan.

On Thursday, HT had reported how the MHCC was concerned about the city’s new blueprint not considering the heritage value of structures at several locations.

The committee will now be submitting its objections to the BMC’s development plan department for each structure that will be affected or has not been marked in the DP. “We have time till April 24 and the matter needs to be taken up seriously if the heritage value of the city needs to be preserved.”

Mayuresh Bhadsavle, an urban policy researcher, said the proposed DP will lead to loss of intangible heritage value too. “For instance, there is no clear demarcation of many gaothans, adivasipadas or Koliwadas, which will affect their heritage value and the collective identity of a neighbourhood they represent. The BMC has also allowed high FSI in many of these areas,” he said.

Despite repeated attempts, R Bhalachandran, chief engineer of development plan, was not available for comment.