Tightrope walk for MC as heritage challenges safety | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Tightrope walk for MC as heritage challenges safety

punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2013 23:22 IST
Shaheen P Parshad

In its mission to free city of unsafe buildings, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation authorities have a tough call to make as they want to ensure the safety of residents and at the same time don't want to bring down structures having some heritage value.

The MC and tourism department officials will hold a meeting on Monday to decide which old buildings in the walled city need to be preserved as heritage sites and the ones need to be razed. According to sources, in a recent survey, the MC had identified more than 140 unsafe buildings in the walled city area, of which 40 were in the Chowk Passian area alone.

Sources said that a number of the unsafe buildings in question were made of mud and bricks and had outlived their lives. Three of such unsafe structures had been razed, while a list of edifices with some heritage value had been handed over to the officials of tourism department.
Sources said that as of now the tourism department has not scoured more than 60 of such structures.

Stating that the MC was concerned about the safety of the occupants of these buildings, a number of which served as shops-cum-residences, municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that at the same time the civic body wanted to ensure that none of the buildings with some heritage value was razed.

"A meeting would be held with the officials of the Tourism department on Monday during which discussions would be held on which buildings are important from heritage point of view and need to be preserved and which are the unsafe edifices that need to be demolished," he said.

He said that the officials of the tourism department had inspected the buildings identified by the MC and were likely to share their findings about the heritage potential of these buildings during the meeting.