Report to be submitted to DC after grading of structures as per norms
Mysore/Mysuru: The ongoing survey of 131 heritage structures within the limits of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has gained momentum and it will take one more month to complete the task. A report will be submitted to Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. K.V. Rajendra to be sent to the State Government for further action. The DC is the Chairman of the District Heritage Committee.
The survey began on Oct. 12 as widespread rainfall caused damage to the buildings, many of which are already dilapidated. The buildings are being graded according to the norms specified in the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Model Building (Amendment) Bylaws- 2021.
Speaking to SOM on the status of the survey, Commissioner of Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Devaraju said that the team inspects the buildings every afternoon and is taking into consideration all the structural aspects, date of construction, present state of building, need of restoration and the estimated cost of repairs.
The team comprises Heritage Commissioner, Deputy Director, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Manjula, Curator Sunil, Engineer Rekha, Assistant Executive Engineer Mahesh, Prof. N.S. Rangaraju of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)-Mysuru and Member of District Heritage Committee, Prof. Syed Shakeeb Ur Rahman, former Dean, VTU and former Principal of SJCE and others.
The grading — I, II and III — is being done as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Model Building (Amendment) Bylaws- 2021. The present condition of all the heritage structures will be mapped and the main focus will be on the stability factor and the damage caused to them due to vagaries of weather. Going by the pace of the survey, it will take one more month to complete the survey and the report will be prepared to be submitted to the DC, Devaraju revealed.
“We have written individual letters to all the occupants of the 131 buildings asking them to seek permission from the District Heritage Committee in case they are planning to renovate or make changes to the heritage structures. As many of the buildings are occupied by Government offices, they are welcome if they are renovating the buildings with necessary permissions and approvals. If they are not, the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage will initiate the restoration works,” the officer said.
“Several officers who come to Mysuru on transfers will not be aware of the fact that their work and residence premises have been classified as heritage structures. We have written to each occupant of such buildings to make them aware of the building’s heritage nature,” he said.
The Heritage Committee has 21 members and all repairs and restoration works must be approved by the Committee. “If any occupant wants to renovate a particular structure, we will give them the estimate, approval and permissions and also a Detailed Project Report on how to go about the renovation,” Devaraju noted.
Grade I buildings: Those carrying national or historical importance. They have their own architectural style, design and aesthetics. The buildings can be the ones that are associated with game-changing historical events or connected to eminent personalities.
Grade II buildings: Local landmarks that contribute or enhance the image or identity of a particular city. It may also be a structure that is constructed by well-known architects.
Grade III buildings: Those that have architectural, aesthetic or sociological interest. These buildings determine the character of a particular locality.
Nothing original in India! The Grade I, II and II listing is copied from Britain. But unlike there, this is just an eyewash survey, submitted to the DC, who will in turn submit it to his boss the district minister.
When the really Grade I buildings of Mysore Medical College, and KR and Cheluvamba cluster of hospitals could only receive about 90 crores-a pittance sum considering t what is needed to maintain and upgrade them, there is no chance of getting any more cash from the state government.