The inclusion of buildings slated for redevelopment in the recently proposed heritage list has sent jitters in political circles. While the Shiv Sena,which has a stronghold in central Mumbai,has opposed the additions to the new list,Congress corporators are preparing a detailed report of each building slated to go in for redevelopment in their wards.
Most of the structures proposed to be included in the new list are located in the Sena and MNS strongholds of Dadar,Prabhadevi,Mahim,Bandra,Chembur,Borivli and Sewri. Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said,A list of such buildings is being prepared. We will suggest to the heritage committee to exclude these structures from the heritage list. If these buildings are included in the list,redevelopment work will be affected.
Dnyanraj Nikam,Congress corporator and leader of Opposition in the BMC,said,We have asked our corporators to prepare a detailed report of each proposed heritage structure in their ward. We will urge the committee to exclude the structures slated for redevelopment from the list as redevelopment projects will ultimately benefit the citizens.
Anuj Puri,chairman & country head of Meghraj,a real estate consultancy firm,said,Once these structures are given a heritage tag,owners cannot redevelop the properties,although basic repair and re-inforcement can be undertaken.
Heritage activists,however,fear that in the absence of the heritage tag many of the proposed sites have already been pulled down or modified. Between 2005 and 2008,several structures were demolished for constructing highrises actor Dilip Kumars Pali Hill bungalow for instance. Some structures,including Mantralaya,were renovated to such an extent that they had to be struck off the list by the time the committee conducted physical verification.
Chairman of Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee V Ranganathan said,The no-redevelopment regulation does not apply to Grade 3 heritage structures and precincts. We have not examined the full list yet. Hence,we cannot decide on exclusion of structures. The regulations are for preserving and maintaining certain buildings in the larger public interest,notwithstanding gain of any individual or private party.