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Heritage structure under threat due to water seepage

A major portion of the first floor of Vishrambaug Wada,that is home to valuable wooden work,is under dire threat due to seepage in the roof

Written by PRASAD JOSHI |
August 2, 2013 5:25:04 am

A major portion of the first floor of Vishrambaug Wada,that is home to valuable wooden work,is under dire threat due to seepage in the roof. While restoration of the old palatial structure — where Peshwa Bajirao II,the last Peshwa of Maratha emperor lived in the early 19th century — has been under way since 2004,halting of work proposed under third and final phase for past three years has exposed the first floor to leakage during rains.

A random visit to Vishrambaug Wada,which is tagged as supreme grade I heritage structure by the PMC,reveals the sorry state of affairs. There were at least half a dozen spots in the roof from where water was leaking,forming puddles on the floor. A portion of the first floor,which faces Bajirao Road,has been largely affected. It houses carved woodwork of the balcony and wooden pillars,among other artistic marvels. Seepage from the dilapidated roof has been causing permanent damage to the ornately carved ceiling,teakwood pillars and chandeliers at the first floor.

Co-convener of Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH),Pune,Sharveya Dhongde,said water is the biggest culprit when it comes to causing damage to structures like Vishrambaug Wada,which has wood and brick work. “The wood used for construction and decoration of Vishrambaug Wada is too old and hence highly prone to absorbing more water. This water seeps through the entire structure gradually,spelling doom. Several Maratha and Peshwa era structures are in ruins now due to exposure to rain water,” he said.

While restoration of Vishrambaug Wada under third phase is in limbo for almost three years now,experts have expressed serious concern over damage done during the past monsoon season. Underway since 2004,the first phase of renovation saw change of the bricks of the outer part and matching them with the original,while second phase involved repairing the roof and other internal damages of the 20,000-sq ft Wada.

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