After facing criticism for not adding Bhidewada in the list of heritage structures in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has proposed to enlist seven more structures, including Bhidewada — where the first girls’ school in the country was started by social reformer Savitribai Phule, with the help of her husband and social reformer, Mahatma Phule, in 1848.
In a public notice issued for preparing the list of heritage structures in the city, Municipal Commissioner, Saurabh Rao, said the new list was being prepared as per the approved development control rules 2017, which would include listing of heritage buildings, precincts and natural features.
“The PMC has enlisted 251 heritage properties into Grade-1, Grade-2 and Grade-3 type of structures. If anybody has any suggestions or objections about the said list, the same can be submitted along with supporting documents and proofs to the city engineer’s office 30 days from the publication of this list,” said Harshada Shinde, in-charge of the PMC heritage cell.
The list was last finalised in 2012 and had included 244 structures. This time, it has been proposed to add seven more structures to the list, Shinde said, and added that the proposed list had 79 structures in Grade-1 structures, 82 structures in Grade-2 and 90 structures in Grade-3.
The seven structures in the proposed list are Bhidewada in Budhwar Peth, Murlidhar Mandir in Gurwar Peth, Ardheshir Baug in Nanapeth, Balaji Mandir in Bhavani Peth, Chhatrapati Shivaji Audyogik Sanstha in Shukarwar Peth, Kanhaiylal Saraf Building in Raviwar Peth and Sonyamaruti Temple in Raviwar Peth. Bhidewada has been included in the Grade-1 category, while the remaining six are of Grade-3 type.
“We were surprised that Bhidewada, which has historical significance, was missing from the list of heritage structures in the city. Thus, it has been proposed to include it in the Grade-1 category of the list,” Shinde said.
In the recent past, there have been demands from various organisations to include it in the heritage list and develop it as a memorial of Savitribai Phule. The dilapidated condition and the plans of its owners to demolish it, in order to construct a commercial building, was opposed by various organisations.
The municipal commissioner, on advice of the Heritage Committee, has to prepare a heritage list and issue public notice in the local newspapers, declaring its intention to include the buildings, artefacts, areas and precincts of historic or cultural significance as well as a list of natural features of environmental significance, including sacred graves, hills, hillocks, water bodies. The civic body has to invite objections and suggestions from any person in respect of the proposed inclusion within a period of 30 days from the date of notice.
The notice said Pune city has a rich cultural and historical heritage and is growing fast into a modern city. It is imperative that the heritage of the city is not compromised during this fast-paced growth and is protected instead.
“The proposed list with 251 structures is only for the area of old city and the process is on for preparing the list for 23 villages merged in 1997 and 11 villages in 2017,” said Varsha Jadhav, sub-engineer in the PMC.
She said the structures to be included in the heritage list are based on the demands by local residents as well as the observation of the PMC, based on their historical background and significance in society.