CMDA is likely to issue directions to LIC soon

The Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has accepted the recommendation of the sub-committee that the Bharat Insurance building on Anna Salai be preserved.

The CMDA is likely to issue directions to the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the owner, for the protection of the building shortly.

The CMDA would direct the LIC to take immediate measures to prevent deterioration of the building which is an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. It would also direct the LIC to work out a restoration plan for the building.

The sub-committee's report stresses the need for saving the building from further damage by vegetation and rain. The building needs a cover for protection from rain.

Appropriate directions will be given to the LIC, CMDA Chairperson Susan Mathew told The Hindu on Monday.

The HCC had constituted a six-member sub-committee to measure the heritage value of the Bharat Insurance building on Anna Salai last month.

The sub-committee studied the feasibility of retaining the whole or part of the structure.

This initiative was pursuant to a Madras High Court directive.

The Madras High Court has restrained LIC from demolishing the building without complying with regulation 22 of the Development Control Rules for Chennai Metropolitan Area, 2004.

It directed the HCC to assess the value and feasibility of retaining the building, stressing the need for saving the building.

Construction of the building began in 1894 and it was inaugurated in 1897. As the building became dilapidated, LIC initiated the process of eviction of tenants in 1998.


Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012