MCC move to demolish Lansdowne Building, Devaraja Market
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MCC move to demolish Lansdowne Building, Devaraja Market

January 31, 2019

We will lose Heritage City tag, warns expert

Mysuru:  The Mysuru City Corporation’s (MCC) move to recommend the pulling down of the iconic Lansdowne Building and Devaraja Market has met with severe opposition from various quarters. The MCC has resolved to reconstruct commercial complexes after demolition and has decided to write to the State Government seeking its nod for demolition.

While concerned citizen experts who campaign for preservation of heritage buildings has written to Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, against the proposed demolition, heritage experts have warned that Mysuru will lose the ‘Heritage City’ sobriquet if the heritage structures are demolished. Today it is Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building and tomorrow it will be some other heritage building, they argue.

Citizens said that the grounds of ‘safety’ under which the demolitions are to be undertaken are flimsy and the Corporation has not yet realised the heritage value of such buildings. Heritage experts, angry by the MCC move, have urged the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the Mysuru District Heritage Committee to call an urgent meeting before the MCC writes to the government.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, N.S. Rangaraju, retired professor of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, and one of the Heritage Committee members, said the MCC Council’s decision was shocking and was illogical.

“The Heritage Committee had submitted a report that recommended restoration of Lansdowne Building and the Devaraja Market. We have experts, who have years of experience, in the Committee and the MCC’s decision of demolition is wrong. Structures like Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura and Lotus Mahal in Hampi have been restored and the structures date back to 500 years. When those structures can survive with restoration, Lansdowne Building and the Devaraja Market too can sustain,” he said.

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Flaying the MCC move, Prof. Rangaraju said that the MCC was not looking at the heritage value but was focussing only on commercial aspects and generating revenue. “Our Committee is in favour of restoration but ultimately, the decision has been taken by the Councillors who do not have any idea or interest in conserving heritage structures. If the Heritage Committee’s views are ignored without even a serious discussion, then why do we have such a Committee,” he asked.

“There are at least 235 buildings in Mysuru which have been documented and classified as heritage structures in view of their historicity and architectural style. Unfortunately, the MCC lacks heritage guidelines to protect these structures,” Prof. Rangaraju added.

The MCC has gone against the recommendations of the Heritage Committee and has decided to demolish the iconic structures. “Tomorrow the MCC will recommend the demolition of more heritage buildings. Then our city will lose the Heritage City Tag,” he warned.

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “MCC move to demolish Lansdowne Building, Devaraja Market”

  1. kumar says:

    Every Mysorean can relate to this heritage building either enjoying ice cream at Phalamrutha or buying or selling second hands books and the list goes on, we failed to cherish our heritage a sad state of affairs

    • Manava says:

      Devaraja Market has a purpose, when Mysuru was a small City in 1950s and in mid-1960s when the City srated expanding into new extensions virtually in all directions, this Market lost its purpose as people could no longer go to this Market after work and buy fruits and vegetables. Many local markets sprung up in these extensions, like that in Nanjumalige where vegetables and fruits were brought in every day by the producers from nearby villages, and sold them cheaply and fresh. As long as Murthy Secondhand Bookshop was there and job typists were typing certificates for young men and women, Lansdowne building which was already run down had a purpose too. Photocopiers and the Internet age killed off both. Best to demolish both, and use the space for better purposes that fit to this age.

  2. Manava says:

    Correction: Devaraja Market had a purpose……..

  3. What a World! says:

    “Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, N.S. Rangaraju, retired professor of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, and one of the Heritage Committee members, said the MCC Council’s decision was shocking and was illogical”
    This man is merely nostalgic and tries to revive the derelict buildings and their lost purposes- the above post illustrates this, Retired man with plenty of time on hand for meddling! Just move on.

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