In what comes as a blow to heritage conservation, but relief for those seeking redevelopment of old buildings, the state has struck down the individual heritage listing suggested for 20 sites and the heritage precinct status proposed for three areas in Chembur.
The state urban development department issued a notification dated December 5, finalising the list of heritage buildings for M ward (Chembur, Mankhurd and Govandi). While the notification retained heritage status for only three religious structures, three bungalows and a leprosy home from the proposed list, the proposed Chembur heritage precinct, divided into three sub-precincts comprising 522 structures, has been dropped.
The notification is an amendment to Development Control Regulation 67, which governs structures of heritage importance and comes two years after the proposed heritage list of 948 sites, including 26 sites and a precinct in Chembur, was published by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The list had caused controversy and was challenged in the high court by the Chembur Citizens’ Forum, which said reconstruction of old structures was being hampered.
The heritage review committee set up by the BMC submitted its report, five months ago, recommending the delisting of the Chembur precinct. The committee, however, had also suggested the addition of four sites – the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, RK Studio, Bombay Presidency Golf Club and a children’s home in the final list. But it has not been considered by the state.
“It was decided by the state that no additions would be made to the heritage list. Also, since there are separate policies for conservation of water bodies and development of gaothans, it did not want to bring in any contradiction,” said a civic official. The notification means structures can undergo redevelopment without taking approvals from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC). V Ranganathan, MHCC chairperson said, “I still need to go through the notification. I will get back later”.