The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has proposed a committee on Heritage Conservation, which is expected to be approved by the State government shortly.

The effort is in pursuit of the goals of heritage conservation in Chennai as envisaged in the Second Master Plan, Susan Mathew, CMDA Vice-Chairperson told The Hindu.

As the city is yet to have an inventory of the heritage structures, a list to be prepared by the proposed Committee would be a stepping stone for conservation of heritage structures in the Chennai Metropolitan Area, she said. “We have only a partial list of old buildings now,” Ms.Susan Mathew added.

An inventory of less than 200 heritage buildings prepared by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Tamil Nadu Chapter will be scrutinised by the committee. The list of around 800 buildings included in the report of the Justice E. Padmanabhan Committee on Hoardings would also be scrutinised for inclusion in the heritage list.

The broad categories under which the data would be collected include buildings of the State government, Central government, Railways, private entities, banks and institutions, memorials, places of worship and cemetery.

After finalisation of the evaluation criterion of the Heritage Conservation Committee, the CMDA would invite suggestions from the public on the heritage buildings within the CMDA. Members of non-governmental organisations and volunteers, including students of architecture, would take part in the preparation of the inventory.

The CMDA would hold public consultations to consider objections and suggestions on heritage structures. The committee would examine the list and the CMDA would forward the final list to the government for approval, said Ms.Susan Mathew.

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