New Heritage List Seeks To Save Structures That Don’t Exist
The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) obviously didn’t do its homework when revising its heritage list. A number of structures proposed on the list have in fact ceased to exist. For instance, several bungalows in Bandra have been razed to make way for high-rises. Narang House in Fort, which the list suggested be elevated to Grade IIA from Grade III, has been demolished. Oddly enough, the list proposes that an eighteenth-century toilet in the naval dockyard be demoted to Grade IIA from Grade I status. The toilet is arguably the oldest existing WC in the city.
A substantial chunk of the city’s heritage has been lost because of the delay in preparing the list. The MHCC began revising the list in 2005 and finished in 2007. It was released to public scrutiny only last month. Between July 2011 and July 2012, there was no heritage committee at all as the government dragged its feet over appointing a new panel after the previous one completed its term. The MHCC has invited suggestions for the current list. So it’s sure to be revised again. If it takes another five years for the list to be finalised, who knows how many bungalows and vintage buildings the city will lose to redevelopment.Tags: Heritage, Heritage Death Watch, MHCC, Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee