A total of 1,000 students of architecture from 10 colleges will start documentation of heritage buildings and precincts in the Chennai Metropolitan Area shortly.

The students, in groups of four, will visit all localities in the area to assess and evaluate structures and precincts with historic, cultural, architectural and archaeological value, according to Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) Vice-Chairperson Susan Mathew.

The CMDA would pay Rs.250 a day to each of the students undertaking documentation. The documents would be submitted to the CMDA for preparing a comprehensive list of the heritage buildings after proper verification.

“The reason for using the students for the documentation is that they will not have any bias,” said A.N. Sachithanandan, president of the Institute of Town Planners India.

Initially, the assessment would be done in the Chennai Corporation limits. The city has been divided into 10 divisions, including George Town, Triplicane, Purasawalkam and Mylapore, for the documentation.

The assessment would be made according to the criterion for listing the heritage buildings and precincts.

The students have been asked to look for aspects such as the date and period of construction for determining the historic significance of a building. They would take photographs of each of the structures and collect details from records available with owners of the heritage buildings, said an official of CMDA.

Social, economic or political trends exhibited by the building, events or persons associated with the building, artistic merits such as design, style and community context of the building would be recorded by the students.

Keywords: CMDAASI

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