Yaduveer visits Devaraja Market, Lansdowne Building
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Yaduveer visits Devaraja Market, Lansdowne Building

February 13, 2019

Lends support for the cause of saving both heritage structures

Mysuru: The revival of the two heritage structures — Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building — which were to be demolished following the decision in the Mysuru City Corporation, got a boost with the titular head of Mysore Royal Family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar lending his support to the beleaguered shopkeepers of both the places.

After disapproving the MCC decision, Yaduveer expressed his solidarity with the tenants by visiting Lansdowne Building and Devaraja Market buildings yesterday. The public and shopkeepers who accompanied him on his padayatra, urged him to save both the heritage structures as it was his ancestors who were responsible for their construction.

He first visited Devaraja Market around noon where he inspected the North Gate entrance of the Market which had earlier collapsed and some parts of which were demolished. He was accompanied by the President of Devaraja Market Tenants Association S. Mahadev who explained to him about the condition of the shops and their battle for preservation of the heritage market.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Mahadev said that Yaduveer who spent nearly three hours inspecting both the heritage structures assured them of his full cooperation to retain both the heritage structures by speaking to the Deputy Commissioner, the Mayor and also to the State Government.

“The fact that the royal family has extended support to our cause is a welcome sign. He has clearly told us that heritage structures like this must not be destroyed and he will fight for the cause and try to see that the buildings are not razed,” said Mahadev.   Yaduveer, addressing the media on Monday, had said that several heritage structures in Jaipur and other cities which were on the verge of collapse were restored and are being used for commercial purposes and the same should be done with Lansdowne and Devaraja Market buildings.

READ ALSO  Shop gutted at Devaraja Market

MCCI bats for restoration

Meanwhile, the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), expressing concern over the move of the MCC to raze the structures, lent its support for the cause of retaining both the heritage buildings.

Mysuru is known worldwide for its art, culture and tourism. Added to this the many heritage structures that the city is dotted with is the major attraction for both Indian and foreign visitors. There are thousands of families depending on tourism. Hence, the decision to raze the structures stating that it is impossible to preserve them and instead build new ones in its place is not correct, the MCCI said.  

The experts have maintained that the restoration of both the structures can be done and once it is completed, for the next 50 years the buildings will stand without any problems.  Officials concerned must hold a meeting with heritage experts and save both the heritage structures, said MCCI Secretary Satish in a press release.

13 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Yaduveer visits Devaraja Market, Lansdowne Building”

  1. Bhamy V Shenoy says:

    It is nice of SOM to have given an extensive coverage to the controversy concerning Devaraj market and Lansdowne building. For those who want to lean about the efforts of the public in avoiding the present crisis, please read my article carried at Citizen Matters. http://citizenmatters.in/mysuru-corporation-devaraj-market-lansdowne-building-demolition-heritage-conservation-10141

    • strangeworld says:

      @Bharmy If you are so concerned about the demolition of these 2 so called heritage buildings, just start crowd funding for restoration. Start with Yaduveer, and ask him to chip in a few crores- after all these buildings were linked to Wadiyar regimes of the past. If and when they are restored with the crowd funding, beware that they will slide into the same status after a few years. See the explanation I have given.

  2. strangeworld says:

    “The fact that the royal family has extended support to our cause is a welcome sign. He has clearly told us that heritage structures like this must not be destroyed and he will fight for the cause and try to see that the buildings are not razed,”

    As they say in English: ” put the money where your mouth is”, meaning , this Yaduveer should put the Palace money in the restoration of these two buildings. He will not, and prattle nonsense.
    If Lansdowne building is to be restored at a considerable cost ( forget about the theoretical presentation of that IIT academic, as academics have no concept of real world costs), what purpose will it be put to use, bearing in mind, the shop spaces there are small with no room for an expanding business ( Geetha Book Shop which started here learned this quickly and moved)? Lease space or rent space costs these days are considerable.
    Restored Devaraja Market sill has to address the uncompetitive pricing of fruits and vegetables due to leasing or renting of shops. Street markets sprung up these days almost in every housing extension in Mysuru, sell fruits and vegetables at a price that shops in Devaraja Market cannot sell. Even the open space vegetable market inside were expensive even in 1960s. Who would come to buy them, in a City where new housing extensions are many miles away from the Market?
    It is all very well to howl for restoration, but after that, what, as explained above. Yaduveer, the unemployed rich man from the Palace, should use the Palace money for restoration. That should make him think, better.

    • syed matheen says:

      Dear Strange world,

      Even Mr. Yaduveer is paying tax from his incomes and GST on all consumables as a citizen, he is not exempted from tax as he belongs to Royal family, He has a right to place his opinion in public domain as he certainly hold a reputation in it.
      How, if PWD is asking some part of money from you to lay road in front of your house, as you will be using it most of the times ?? Be frank will you pay, what ever your income is ??
      We just need to consider these buildings as ” HERITAGE STRUCTURES ” not revenue, size, price comparison or elevation.

      • Strangeworld says:

        @syed Get your arguments right. Your example of PWD and road in this context shows, you have no grasp of the facts here.

  3. Bhamy V Shenoy says:

    Dear Strangeworld, thanks for suggesting what Yaduveer should do. Have you asked yourselves what you should to promote tourism? Have you read the reports submitted by the experts?

    Thanks for your insightful comments on IIT academic being theoretical. Either you have not read what he has written or being generous in putting mildly that he is theoretical.

    Since you are interested in this topic, I am presuming you would have read the arguments about the compelling reason for restoring these two heritage buildings ( though you seem to question they being referred to as heritage). Since you are basing your argument on Geetha book store moving away from the market and fruits being “expensive”, and not shown any disagreement on the experts’ opinions (excepting questioning their capacity to understand the ground realities since they are all academic) I would like to offer counter arguments. When Geetha has moved out, there are so many others have moved in. It shows there are several merchants who are happy with the space available. Second if fruits are expensive, why would customers come to the market. They do not have monopoly power. All over the city there are markets and for that matter, just outside there are vendors selling produce. In other words customers are interested to come to the market.

    I fail to get the meaning of the word, “howling”. No one is howling to restore these two buildings. Those who are making suggestions are giving their opinions. In a democracy every one has the right as well as responsibility to get involved. You seem to be for demolition though you have not given your argument excepting to disagree with others without stating the reasons. I am sure the public will make their own assessments and express their support or opposition. Let the majority win. In this case besides majority, there is also a little question of the law of the land which puts the responsibility on the elected leaders to take decision based on heritage laws.

    • Strangeworld says:

      @Bhamy You are indeed barmy to suggest that I have based my argument entirely on Geetha Book House moving out of the rather congested shopping space available.That was just one example of how a business then,even in 1960s was constrained by the space factor of Lansdowne building; there were many others. You failed to quote an example of a business moving in even then. You have no concept of how small businesses work, and expand. That building was not fit for purpose even in 1960s. I can understand the frustration of you as a fellow IITian, which you proudly often boast,which made me laugh at times, but the fact is that these so called exalted academics have no concept of practical and economic realities. You want the tax payers’ money given for restoration, and would not even give an example of how this outmoded restored building would be used, and by what businesses?
      As for Devaraja Market which had a purpose when Mysuru was compact in its size, and when people could shop there after their office hours for fruits and vegetables. Mysuru of today has expanded so much so that this Market was out of reach for those Mysuru extensions which were miles away from it, even a few decades ago, when the Market started losing its location-based advantage. Besides,with the thriving local and street fruit and vegetable markets, which offered fresh produce every day at half the cost of those in shops of Devaraja Market, where the shop keepers were burdened with rent and lease hold debts and hence had to increase the costs of their fruits and vegetables. the Market had no future even a few decades ago. Many shop keepers then went bankrupt as result of sales nose diving and left the place. If the Market gets restored, the economic reality of shop keepers footing the lease or rent bill overheads, and competing with the street market vendors who have no such burden.
      I can understand you as the member of the pressure group called MCP, I call it: Mysuru Grahachara Parishad, with the emphasis on the word:” Grahachara”, meaning, from where its members often spout nonsensical arguments, citing heritage, do not dwell in reality of changing times. Your group have singularly failed in your attempt to railroad the MCC in accepting the case of restoration of these two buildings which outlived their purpose. MCC rightly decided to demolish them.
      If the “heritage mob” consisting of Yaduveer, MCP and others are so concerned about preserving these two derelict remnants of the age gone by, why don’t you start the collection of ” heritage fund” for the purpose, and ask for matching funds from the MCC? You would not do it, but spout mere hot air presenting fallacy in favour MCC funding for the restoration of the buildings which outlived their purpose even in 1960s. I have given presented a detailed discussion as a reply to Gouri Sathya’s good article on Lansdowne building which appeared in SOM a few weeks back.

  4. Raghu says:

    Already good amount of money has been spent on these structures and it would be criminal act to do the same. If any company comes forward to repair these structures for ‘X’ Crores, Government should tell them that they need to maintain for next 25/50 Years as well…then we will see the real picture. Some people are making soo much noice that as if its like a Belur, Haleybeedu.

    Enough is enough. With the technology available, government can build the same structure with some 2 level of parking at the basement also.

    • Strangeworld says:

      You are right in pointing out, these two derelict buildings are not heritage structures like the Belur or Haleybeedu temples. and you are again right in suggesting modern equivalent for this crumbling Landsdowne building. I saw shoppers there shutting their shops and moving out for growth. The building with its very small shop spaces was fit only early part of 20th Century. A shop keeper who closed his shop -a thriving tailoring outfit, and moved elsewhere and developed his business said at that time: that was late 1960s, that these shops were fit only for running cool drink joint, meaning requiring a modest space. Even that was proved to be arduous, as there were limited rooms to put chairs where customers could sit. Often the footpath space in front of the shop was usurped for the purpose. You could see that the heritage mob has no specific idea of which business is interested to come in a restored Lansdowne building You can read Bhamy’s barmy idea of making a restored Devaraja Market at par with the famed Istanbul “Grand Bazar”, known for several centuries , established under Ottoman empire in ancient Constantinople! This shows the depth of delusion of the Mysuru Grahachara Parishad crowd! Any one who visited the Grand Bazar, will know what a ridiculous suggestion this can be! No wonder, the MCC rejected this restoration pressure and rightly decided to demolish these 2 buildings.

  5. Bhamy V Shenoy says:

    Fully understand and appreciate the need for parking facilities when we see the crowded vehicles on Sayyaji and Dhanavantri and also Urs road. It is not difficult to extrapolate what happens when car ownership increases from the current level and more families will be able to travel by cars. City center will not be able to accommodate them. Most old cities in the world and all cities in India are facing this problem. Singapore which is often quoted by our political leaders also faced this problem few years back. They solved it by imposing high fee for cars traveling during busy hours. They found their own way. Other cities have banned or banned private vehicles in central business district. It is a question of time when we will be forced to do the same in Mysuru besides taking other measures.
    When environmentalists protested against constructing multi level parking some were demanding such parking. Now it looks like private vehicles will be banned there under “PRASAD” initiative of the government. In the case of proposed basement parking of Devaraj market, we will be forced to stop such parking in few years. Do we want to waste money like that? Raghu is right that we should not spend money for parking. However money spent to restore Devaraj market and Lansdowne will give returns for years to come by attracting tourists from all over the world. A congested market like “Grand Bazar” in Istanbul constructed in 15th century is vibrant and attracting millions of shoppers and tourists. For Mysore, Devaraj market will be like that.
    Finally let us listen to the experts and not be swayed by narrow political considerations. In fact if most of our well meaning political leaders listen to the experts (many reports are available by leading experts and I will be happy to share them) they would fully support restoration and stop any project of demolition.

    • Strangeworld says:

      Bhamy is really barmy to compare the ” Grand Bazar” of Istanbul, which I have visited often and which is famed for several centuries with the Devaraja Market which not many outside of Mysuru have heard of! These MCP members are a deluded lot, and this example shows why. Devaraja Market even in its hey days of was never unique, like that of the Istanbul bazar mentioned.

  6. Manava says:

    Developing the renovated and obscure Devaraja Market, which did not prosper as a vegetable, fruit market and produce market as times moved on into a Grand Bazar like the one in Istanbul? That is bonkers! That shows the sheer hallucination that these heritage warriors possess! Not even the Moore Market of then then Madras (now Chennai) was able to develop that way. My request to MCC, is to ignore these heritage warriors who talk gobbledygook with plenty of free time on hand and begin the demolition work. I would suggest this Yaduveer to work for a living , not simply act full time as a showpiece for a bygone dynasty.

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