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Save spaces, preserve heritage

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A TOURIST’S DELIGHT: Funds have been sought from the Government for restoring Mysore’s heritage structures not covered under JNNURM.
A TOURIST’S DELIGHT: Funds have been sought from the Government for restoring Mysore’s heritage structures not covered under JNNURM.

Special Correspondent

A slide show on heritage structures shows that the public has its task cut out

MYSORE: Has restoration of heritage buildings in Mysore taken a back seat? The question assumes significance in the absence of any progress on major works that was mooted for the city.

Although officials state that 15 buildings have been identified for restoration under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), there are other buildings that merit a similar attention.

And a slide show on the heritage structures of the city held at the Institution of Engineers recently underlined this aspect to reinforce public memory on the subject.

Organised by the Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore, the attention of the audience and the people of Mysore was drawn to the presence of over 250 heritage structures in the city whose restoration could cost the exchequer a sizeable amount. But the moot point being made was that this funding could be recovered if the structures were spruced up, aesthetically illuminated and a heritage tour conducted to boost tourism.

Association convenor M. Lakshmana said: “Mysore is synonymous with the palace, zoo, KRS and Chamundi Hills. “But there is more to the city but there is little by way of facility or arrangement to showcase them to the visitors. So priority should be to spruce up the buildings and prepare an itinerary.”

But Mr. Lakshmana cautioned about the pitfalls ahead in the absence of a concerted effort on the part of the public to safeguard the built heritage of Mysore complete with its open spaces.

For, real estate firms had already bought large chunks of land around Chamundi Hills and Lalith Mahal Palace and soon the area could be an eyesore with concrete structures proliferating all round the area. A slideshow projecting the heritage structures of Mysore was presented by Sanjay and a memorandum with a copy of the CD containing the slideshow was sent to the Governor with a requisition to sanction funds during the State Budget to take up restoration work and declare Mysore as a Heritage City.

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