Delhi

HC miffed with Heritage Conservation Committee

Ticking off:As per INTACH, besides Lotus Temple, the Hall of Nations, India International Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts and Crafts Museum are currently not protected under any law.— File Photo  

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed its disquiet over absence of any criteria for deciding the “modern heritage” status of post-Independence buildings in the Capital ever since the panel was set up in 2004.

Miffed with the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said: “From 2004 you have no criteria? Have you held any building to be heritage since then? If yes, on what basis? It appears they are only enjoying, not working. Why have a committee, disband it.”

The Court made the observation during the hearing of a petition filed by the Delhi chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) alleging “complete abdication” of responsibility by the HCC and the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) to protect the city’s “contemporary architectural heritage”.

INTACH, in its plea filed through advocate Ishwar Mohanty, has sought protection of 62 buildings, including the Hall of Nations and Nehru Pavilion at Pragati Maidan, which it has identified as modern heritage. The Hall of Nations and Nehru Pavilion have been earmarked for demolition by the government to pave the way for a new “world-class” facility. The Court also observed that the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has been projecting the Hall of Nations as iconic structure and the organisation has also been awarded for it.



“Legal vacuum”

While ticking off the HCC, after it said that one of its sub-committees was yet to decide which buildings are heritage due to lack of criteria, the Court issued notices to the HCC, DUAC, the three civic bodies, New Delhi Municipal Council and DDA, and sought their responses to the plea.

INTACH has contended that the list of 62 structures was submitted to the HCC and DUAC in 2013. However, they have not notified the list till date resulting in a “legal vacuum”. The NGO also sought directions to the civic bodies to not damage or demolish any of these buildings. As per INTACH, other modern structures that need to be protected include the India International Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lotus Temple, Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts and Crafts Museum, all of which are currently not protected under any law.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:13:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/HC-miffed-with-Heritage-Conservation-Committee/article14485415.ece

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