While the presence of unsafe buildings in the walled city area continues to pose a threat to the lives of the residents, commuters and visitors, the Tourism Department, which is ascertaining the heritage status of the rickety edifices identified by the MC, is apparently going slow in this regard.
This is evident from the fact that the officials of the Tourism Department have gone through a little more than half of the buildings identified by the MC as unsafe.
The MC held a meeting in this regard with the officials of the Tourism Department on Monday. Sources said that the Tourism Department would submit the list of buildings that need to be preserved from heritage point of view and those that can be demolished with the MC by Wednesday.
While the MC, in a recent survey, had identified a total of 140 hazardous edifices in the walled city area, serving as shops-cum-residences, the list of which had been handed over to the Tourism Department for their scrutiny, the department concerned, according to sources, has scoured not more than 80 ancient structures listed as hazardous.
Sources said that of these 80 structures, most of which have outlived their lives, around seven have been identified by the Tourism Department as buildings that are important from heritage point of view and need to be preserved.
Municipal Commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that the MC was quite serious as far as the issue of unsafe buildings was concerned. "The matter pertains to the safety of the residents of these buildings as well as the visitors frequenting the localities in the walled city area where these buildings are situated," he said.
He added that the Tourism department had so far scoured around 80 unsafe structures. "Of these, they have identified around seven that have heritage value, and should, hence, be preserved," he said. Kharbanda added that the department would submit its list to the MC by Wednesday.
"Action would be initiated on a war footing to deal with the unsafe structures and preserve the ones possessing heritage value, once the department tells the MC in writing which building should be preserved and which should be razed," he said.