Karnataka

Final decision on fate of two heritage structures soon

While one group of experts recommends that Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building in Mysuru be demolished, another group wants them restored to past glory.

While one group of experts recommends that Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building in Mysuru be demolished, another group wants them restored to past glory.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

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Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building are in a dilapidated state; Minister Somanna seeks expert report by January 3

A final decision on Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building, heritage structures that are in a dilapidated condition, is expected after Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar holds a meeting with stakeholders and a consensus is arrived at.

At a meeting with officials of the district administration here on Tuesday, Housing Minister V. Somanna, who is also in charge of the district, directed Mr. Sankar to discuss the issue with stakeholders and submit a report to him before January 3 when the next Karnataka Development Programme meeting is to be held.

Third study

When Mr. Somanna said the government could not remain a mute spectator to the difficulties faced by the tenants of the two structures, who have been forced out of their places of business, Mr. Sankar explained that the district administration had carried out a third study by expert engineers after the task force constituted by the Mysuru City Corporation and State government-constituted Heritage Expert Committee gave divergent opinions.

The third study conducted by engineers of the Karnataka Engineering Research Station (KERS) submitted a report recently, stating that the Devaraja Market did not have “load bearing capacity” to take up any restoration work. Hence, the KERS team felt the r 120-year-old building had to be demolished and reconstructed.

The KERS study was taken up after the High Court heard a petition filed by a tenant of Devaraja Market, who had opposed the demolition.

When Mysuru Grahakara Parishat’s Bhamy V. Shenoy, who was also present at the meeting, was asked for his opinion, he favoured the authorities considering restoration techniques.

He drew the meeting’s attention to the methodologies for preservation of heritage structures suggested by Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Mr. Somanna turned to Mr. Sankar and asked him to hold a meeting with different stakeholders and arrive at a consensus on the next course of action for Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building.

Safety matters

It may be mentioned here that both the buildings had collapsed partially, which led to the eviction of the tenants, keeping their safety in mind.

The collapse of a portion of Lansdowne Building in August 2012 had even claimed four lives. The collapse of the northern gate of Devaraja Market took place in 2016, ironically, when work to restore the structure was under way.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:15:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/final-decision-on-fate-of-two-heritage-structures-soon/article30397554.ece

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