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Heritage enthusiasts seek govt help in restoring Lucknow’s ‘historic’ structures

The demand came a day after a portion of the 80-year-old three-storey Narang building on Lucknow’s Ashok Marg collapsed late on Monday evening.

lucknow Updated: Aug 22, 2018 15:23 IST
lucknow,heritage buildings in lucknow,Narang building in Lucknow
A portion of the 80-year-old three-storey Narang building on Lucknow’s Ashok Marg collapsed late on Monday evening(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

Architects and heritage enthusiasts have sought state government’s involvement in restoration of ‘historic’ structures in the city that are crumbling. The demand came a day after a portion of the 80-year-old three-storey Narang building on Ashok Marg collapsed late on Monday evening.

Though no casualty or injuries were reported, the incident kicked off a debate over the preservation of old structures that are part of Lucknow’s history.

“Narang Building is not a part of Hazratganj, but it’s a beautiful structure that is part of Lucknow’s history. Such structures can’t be left to decay,” said heritage architect Ashish Srivastava.

But what if the owners of such buildings are not interested in maintaining the structures?

“In that case, the government can pitch in using Clause 12 A under the UP Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973,” said Srivastava.

According to the clause that covers maintenance and improvement of the facade of certain buildings , if any building occupied wholly for non-residential purposes or partly for residential and partly for non-residential purposes abuts an arterial road, the occupier of such building shall be bound to repair whitewash, colour-wash or paint the facade of such building at his own cost.

The clause further reads that if the authority, with a view to ensure symmetry with any colour scheme considers it necessary and if any occupier fails to repair, white-wash, colour wash or paint the facade of any building, the construction work should be carried out by the authority itself under its direction. And the occupier would be liable to pay the cost of construction to the authority.

“In case of non-payment of the cost of any work by an occupier, it shall, on the certificate of the vice-chairman, be recoverable from the occupier as land revenue arrears,” the clause further reads.

However, a few heritage enthusiasts were of the opinion that the maintenance and repair of private structures is solely the responsibility of the owners.

“The maintenance and repairs of dilapidated structures should solely be the responsibility of the owners unless and until the structure has heritage value,” said Chander Prakash, a heritage enthusiast.

Mohammed Haider, a corporate lawyer and heritage activist, said there is a provision wherein the government can pitch in for development, but firstly it’s the responsibility of the owner.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 15:23 IST