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Rajkot civic body to introduce new heritage policy

After a long span of neglect,the Rajkot Municipal Corporation undertook an initiative at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit this year to revive Rajkot Mari Najare..

Written by Ujjwala Nayudu | Ahmedabad |
January 26, 2009 2:31:34 am

Rajkot Mari Najare project will inform people about Mughal and colonial monuments in town

After a long span of neglect,the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) undertook an initiative at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit this year to revive Rajkot Mari Najare — a project that introduces people to heritage structures of the Mughal Era and other colonial buildings in Rajkot.

The civic body is all set to introduce a new heritage policy for Rajkot,a rare initiative taken by the local government.

Vijay Anadkat,the city engineer working on the project said it had been introduced in 2006 as a ‘Tourism Year’ initiative. “This year,we are reviving the project by emphasising on the colonial walk.

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In order to promote the heritage buildings of Rajkot,we have drafted a new heritage policy for the city. RMC is the only municipal body to have drafted its own heritage policy,” he said.

According to Anadkat,the main components of the policy are preservation of the state- level important heritage buildings (where there can be no changes for urbanisation). The second component is preservation of the city-level heritage buildings by making little modifications in the structures without changing their originality. RMC has suggested more developments.

After initial success,Rajkot Mari Najare had lost its grip. Later,it was handed over to the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL),but due to some issue it was again given to the RMC. The project continued with little or no success and the monuments lay unattended for reasons best known to the Corporation. Anadkat,however,confessed to the drawbacks that marred the importance of the project.

“The fault perhaps was with the efforts that we couldn’t put at that time. Locals have always shown interest to win new projects. There were very few people working in the Corporation and the required effort was not put. But with this new approach,heritage tourism in Rajkot will get the impetus it deserves,” he added.

The RMC has proposed a phase-wise development plan under the aid sought from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) heritage conservation scheme.

In addition to the older ones,16 new structures and three streets of Rajkot have been identified as heritage monuments and revived by the RMC.

The civic body is hopeful of getting the much-needed financial aid under JNNURM for restoration.

On the new heritage policy for the city,D H Brahmbhatt,Municipal Commissioner,Rajkot,said,“The policy has been drafted and sent to the state government. It is at the stage of approval. After that,the Central government will sponsor the project under JNNURM.”

Rajkot Mari Najare at a glance
* Four Walks: Heritage Walk,Colonial Walk,Religious Walk and Walk for the Youth
* Four Tours: Gandhian Tour,Rajkot Darshan,Senior Citizen Tour and Children Tour. (Barring the heritage and colonial walks and Rajkot Darshan,other walks and tours are not working at all)
* Colonial Walk covers 17 buildings constructed by the British from 1820 to 1910. Rajkot was the seat of the representative of the Crown
* The Heritage Walk covers 21 spots in the city that were built at the time of Masumkhan,the Mughal Fauzdar of Rajkot and vassal of Emperor Aurangzeb
* The Religious Walk covers major temples and religious structures constructed by the Jadeja Rajputs,the princes of Rajkot,and other structures
* The Rajkot Darshan initiative got a new impetus with Raj Travels taking up the project

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