Echo of Maharani’s Chem-Lab collapse:  Protest to save heritage tomorrow
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Echo of Maharani’s Chem-Lab collapse:  Protest to save heritage tomorrow

October 22, 2022

Conservationists visit Maharani’s College; suggest remedial measures 

Mysore/Mysuru: Heritage-lovers, conservationists and like-minded people of Mysuru will hold a candle-light vigil and protest at Saraswathipuram Fire Brigade premises tomorrow at 7 pm. The protest is being organised against the apathetic attitude of the State Government, Mysuru District Administration and the Mysuru City Corporation in protecting the hundreds of heritage structures of Mysuru.

The particular venue has been selected as the entrance of the Fire Brigade collapsed in 2019 and nothing was done despite tall promises. “We have lost many heritage structures in the last 10 years and we want to wake up the authorities from deep slumber. This monumental neglect cannot be tolerated anymore,” said a heritage activist.

Mysuru is a Heritage City and sadly now only the name remains as many heritage buildings have collapsed and many are in the process of destruction. The authorities, who have the responsibility of safeguarding the structures, are citing lame excuses, he alleged.

Many people in the administrative set up believe that instead of restoring the heritage structures, they can be demolished and reconstructed ‘like’ heritage buildings. “What is the use in this and it is like taking away ‘heritage’ from Heritage City. It is unfortunate that even the Government-constituted Heritage Committee and the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums are inactive. Protest is inevitable to save Mysuru’s heritage,” he added.

Roof tiles to be blamed for collapse

A team led by conservationists, Mayor Shivakumar, Member of Heritage Conservation Committee Prof. N.S. Rangaraju, Deputy Director of Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums C.N. Manjula, Principal of Maharani’s Science College and College Department heads this morning visited the Chemistry Lab and the adjacent room that collapsed yesterday.

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The team inspected the area for over two hours and will submit its report to the Deputy Commissioner. In its preliminary assessment, the team members observed that to allow rainwater to flow smoothly and to enhance looks, red roof tiles were laid on top of the Chemistry Lab. However, the portion collapsed as it was dilapidated and could not withstand the weight of the tiles.

“The tiles are heavy and the walls could not bear the weight. Also, a series of trees have been planted beside the building and the roots of the trees have spread and the foundation has been weakened. All these have contributed for the collapse,” Prof. Rangaraju said.

Movement to be banned

The College authorities have been asked to ban any movement in over six to eight rooms and all the equipment and materials there must be immediately vacated to prevent loss. Students and staff must be discouraged from venturing near the damaged portions and the sections where danger is imminent.

The expert team has suggested repair works and strengthening of the walls and foundation by using limestone and plastering that were used when the building was originally constructed.

“Exactly the same materials must be used for the old structure to bond with the new construction materials and iron clamps must be used to strengthen the walls and the foundation that have been loosened by protruding roots. All the trees adjacent to the college building must be cut after taking permission from the Forest Department and acid must be used to burn the roots,” the team suggested.

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