The State government will notify the first list of heritage buildings in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) this year.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will complete the work on assessment, evaluation, documentation and listing of heritage buildings and precincts in all parts of CMA in two years.

The work, according to the procedures prescribed in development regulations, commenced in 2010 and the delay in documentation was attributed to the slow pace of work done by the teams of many colleges that were part of the documentation.

According to CMDA officials, students of Architectural Colleges and Universities in the CMA had complained that they had very little time for the documentation because of their rigorous schedule at college. Many students also reported resistance from the owners of many of the private heritage structures during the process of documentation as the reason for delay.

The student volunteers, in groups of four, were asked to assess, evaluate and document structures and precincts with historic, cultural, architectural and archaeological value.

At a seminar in October 2010, the CMDA announced that the work would be completed in six months. Over 1,000 volunteers from architecture colleges were initially engaged by the CMDA to work on the documentation of the heritage buildings and precincts in the Chennai Metropolitan Area in December 2010.

The reports on structures in areas such as George Town, Triplicane, Mylapore and Purasawalkam would be initially compiled and would serve as a document for restoration and conservation of heritage.

CMDA is also preparing a draft list of heritage buildings from which the evaluation criterion has been finalised.

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