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Development costs Bangalore its heritage

The Mysore Palace

Vivek Dubey

Bangalore Oct 27: Almost  forty-five percent of Bangalore’s heritage buildings have been lost to the development.
Out of the 823 buildings that Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage’s (INTACH), KN Iyengar documented in 1985, only 354 stand today.

Arun Prasad, head of ‘Discover Bangalore,’ (an organization which records Bangalore’s history and heritage), said that Bangalore is losing buildings built during the Kempegowda era (from 1537).

“The Anekal, Sondykoppa and Kengeri gates, are now known as Yeshwantpur gate, The Yelahanka gate of the fort has become Mysore Bank Circle, and Kanahanahalli gate has vanished. Halasuru gate has now become Halasuru gate police station,” said Prasad. The Victoria hotel has been replaced by Central mall. The Cash Pharmacy on St Mark’s Road, was demolished in 2006.

Karthik Venkatesan, a National Geographic Travel Photographer said, “Some of these buildings are more than 20,000 square foot area," he said. “A total of 25 employees and an expenditure of Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 6 lakhs are necessary for maintenance.”

Heritage helps us to understand our culture and diversity, and then recognize the similarities between different people. Conserving our heritage makes sense economically

If smartly done and well-managed, heritage sites attract a large number of tourists and help create jobs, said Venkatesan.
In the area of preservation, restoration and conservation of heritage buildings government has finally started taking actions.
Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) issued a statement clarifying that no heritage building would be dismantled in relation to the steel flyover that has been proposed from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal flyover junction. Once approved, it would affect heritage buildings such as the Balabrooie guesthouse.
“Bangalore at present does not have any laws to preserve heritage buildings,” according to the BDA.



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