Mysore Corporation decision comes after it stayed the demolition on Monday

The Mysore City Corporation (MCC) has urged the Karnataka government to immediately declare as a heritage structure the house in which R. K. Narayan lived and churned out his literary works.

The decision comes after the MCC on Monday stayed the demolition of the house at Yadavagiri, where the novelist spent more than two decades and wove his fiction around Malgudi which is reckoned to be a metaphor for Mysore.

MCC Commissioner K. S. Raykar told The Hindu that he had sent three proposals to the government, one each to the Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, the Heritage Commissioner and also to the Secretary, Department of Urban Development.

The Secretary, Kannada and Culture, and the Heritage Commissioner were apprised of the importance of the building where the renowned literary figure spent some of his most productive years churning out classics, and need to conserve the building as a heritage property, said Mr. Raykar.

The Ministry of Urban Development was urged to notify the rules and regulations for declaring buildings as heritage property at the earliest in a bid to conserve them for posterity, he added.

Mr. Raykar also mooted the idea of raising heritage funds to take over such properties in the event the custodians wished to part with it. The owners could be duly compensated but this had to be preceded by notifying the rules and regulations governing the management and sale of heritage structures. There were nearly 265 listed heritage buildings in the city but a majority of them were in private hands, and hence the rules governing their management including sale had to be notified immediately.

Notice for indiscretion

Meanwhile, the assistant commissioner who issued permission to demolish the house has been issued a notice for his indiscretion in permitting the demolition. The existing rules mandated that only the corporation commissioner was vested with the responsibility of taking a decision on such applications seeking permission to either alter or demolish structures reckoned to be of heritage value, said Mr. Raykar. Meanwhile, the stay on further demolition of the house continues.

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