Heritage activists in the city staged a demonstration on Thursday and sought the government’s intervention in conservation of two landmark buildings of Mysuru.
The activists were part of the heritage wing constituted by the Mysore Grahakara Parishat and were led by N.S. Rangaraju, former professor and head of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore.
He said though Mysuru has been declared as a heritage city, the elements that constitute its heritage were collapsing due to neglect. Though Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building are awaiting restoration since more than a decade, nothing has been done towards their conservation.
He said Mysuru has palaces, museums and nearly 600 heritage buildings all of which are the contribution of the maharajas and if no efforts were made towards their conservation the city would lose its heritage value. In the event the authorities were strapped for funds, then there was a clause in the bylaw which facilitates tapping private entities including corporates, Mr. Rangaraju added.
A memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was also submitted through the local authorities and it said that the clock was ticking away and the buildings were deteriorating and it was imperative to intervene before the clock struck. The memorandum also pointed out that due to lack of maintenance the two buildings were now an eyesore and have diminished the old charm of the city.
The MGP said Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, a member of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru, had stated that the Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation was ready to take up the restoration works of both the Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building if the government agreed.
Pointing out to the prolonged delay in the conservation of both the structures, the MGP said that livelihood of thousands of people revolved around the two markets. Hence the heritage activist called upon the government to constitute a 3-member committee whose members could include either a retired High Court or a Supreme Court judge. Such a committee can be assisted by experts with different backgrounds and the committee should take into consideration legal, heritage, sustainability and livelihood issues before arriving at any conclusion, said the MGP.