Neglect of heritage structures decried
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Neglect of heritage structures decried

October 24, 2022

Save Mysuru’s Heritage, Save Mysuru’s Pride

  • Over 300 people take part in candlelight protest in front of Fire Brigade Station
  • Memorandum to be submitted to Government seeking Rs. 500 crore grants for heritage conservation

Mysore/Mysuru: A candlelight protest was organised at 7 pm yesterday at the Fire Brigade Station in Saraswathipuram to draw the attention of the Government to the fate of hundreds of heritage structures in Mysuru that are crying for attention.

The protesters decried the apathetic attitude of the State Government despite the Heritage City losing many historical structures primarily due to neglect and lack of maintenance. Over 300 people took part in the protest that was held in front of the Fire Brigade Office, a heritage building, the entrance of which collapsed  on August 9, 2019 and nothing has been done till now.

Gathering at the venue under the banner of many voluntary organisations including ‘Let’s Do It Mysore’, stakeholders of heritage, tourism, travel and other allied industries along with common citizens accused the Government of doing nothing to save the heritage structures. Shouting slogans, they flayed the monumental neglect by the Minister, MLAs and the MP in protecting the heritage.

“Those in power must remember that there is no Heritage City of Mysuru without its heritage and people will not forgive if their legacy is willingly destroyed,” they said and sought funds on a priority basis for the conservation of heritage structures that are in a dilapidated condition.

Political leaders flayed

Mincing no words, speakers criticised the political and administrative machinery for ignoring repeated pleas to save the heritage. “Political leaders wax eloquent on any topic — even when they have no knowledge of the subject — when a mike is handed over to them and they make tall promises. Their assurances have proved hollow and we Mysureans have seen it for many years. We cannot be made a scapegoat anymore. Political party leaders are busy in road construction only,” said B.S. Prashanth, President of Federation of Organisations and Associations of Mysuru, who is also involved in tourism and travel industry.

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“Though Mysuru is known to be a Heritage City, it is only on paper while in reality the existing structures are crumbling one by one due to lack of maintenance,” he said, citing examples of Lansdowne Building, Devaraja Market, Palace Fort Wall, Maharani’s Science College Chemistry Lab, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, etc.

Pressure on Government

Prashanth called upon the protesters and like-minded people to continue to build pressure on the Government. “We have to retain the heritage tag at any cost by conserving the heritage structures,” he said.

Member of Heritage Conservation Committee Prof. N.S. Rangaraju spoke about the many dilapidated heritage structures that shaped the Heritage City like the MCC Office, DC Office, CADA Office, Fire Brigade, Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Government Guest House. “All these buildings are facing neglect despite several remedial measures suggested by the Heritage Committee,” he rued.

“Take the example of Fire Brigade Station in Saraswathipuram. Though a portion of the heritage building collapsed a few years ago, nothing has been done so far. Elected representatives who visited the spot stood for photos and just gave assurances,” he said.

History of Fire Brigade Office

Mentioning the contribution of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Prof. Rangaraju said, “When the old Wooden Palace was gutted in a fire in 1897, steam-powered fire extinguishing vehicles were dispatched from Bengaluru as Mysuru had none. Nalwadi took the initiative to establish a Fire Brigade in Mysuru. See its neglect now.” 

Mysuru Travels Association (MTA) President C.A. Jayakumar said tourists come to Mysuru due to its heritage value. “We must conserve the heritage buildings as both tourism and heritage go hand in hand,” he said.

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The protesters said that a memorandum would be submitted to the Government besides seeking Rs. 500 crore for the repairs and conservation of heritage structures.

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