Mumbai’s heritage structures have the potential to offer a historical context to urbanisation, not relating only to the region but for the entire nation, said Dr AP Jamkhedkar, chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research.
Jamkhedkar was speaking at an international seminar that delved on the challenges in preserving Mumbai’s heritage, organised at Mumbai University’s Kalina campus on Monday.
Jamkhedar told The Indian Express, “In our academic circles, the museum, conservation of monuments and tourism are considered separate activities. Unfortunately, all these departments have not been able to come together. The tourism department in the government works in an autonomous manner and there is much to be done.”
But he praised the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the conservation cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for working towards preserving the heritage of the city.
Minister for Higher and Technical Education Vinod Tawde was the guest of honour while Dr Tejas Garge, director of archaeology and museums, was the chief guest at the event. MU vice-chancellor Suhas Pednekar presided over the session. Pro vice-chancellor Ravindra Kulkarni and Dr Meenal Katarnikar, the university’s director of centre for archaeology and centre for extra-mural studies, were also present.
Addressing the gathering, Tawde said, “We as ministers are always in a dilemma to choose between urgent and important work. Many times, archaeology takes a backseat.” Maintaining archaeological monuments was a challenge, but the bigger challenge was to build popular interest in monuments, he added.