By: Samir Singh (The Wire) Last updated January 11, 2018 08:35:14A few months ago, the government of Maharashtra had issued a directive that the entire state be designated as an “architectural heritage zone” under the Maharashtra Heritage Act, 2017.
That is, a state-wide effort to preserve the historical sites and sites that were once the heritage of the people of the state.
The state government has set a goal to preserve 1.2 million hectares of the land around the city of Mumbai and adjoining areas.
The heritage zone will be a five-mile radius around the Mumbai City Metro station, a 1,200-foot-wide road on the road network, and a 300-foot distance between two residential areas.
It has set aside 3.2 acres of land to be designated a “minority land”, which will be managed for preservation, but that land will not be included in the heritage zone.
It will be made available for private use, which is a new concept that the state government is making public.
In January, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, signed a decree that designated 3,000 hectares as “minor heritage areas” in the city.
He said that the land will be available for the preservation of historical monuments and other monuments and buildings that were destroyed during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.
But the state’s heritage committee, led by the Chief Minister himself, did not agree.
Its report, titled “Minority land in Mumbai City, Mumbai” states that the heritage areas would not be protected in the manner outlined in the proclamation.
“It is important to mention that in its report, the committee did not mention any specific provisions for the protection of heritage buildings and sites in minority areas,” it says.
“The heritage areas in the list are merely designated for preservation of monuments, which can be put in minority status.”
The report goes on to list several other historic sites that are in minority, and some that have not been designated as such, such as the Indian Palace of Holy Cross and St. Peter’s Basilica in Mumbai.
The report goes to say that while the heritage zones were created for preservation and protection of the heritage, they were not intended to be permanent.
It is clear that the decision to designate the entire city as heritage land was made by the state, not by the heritage committee.
It is not clear that any consultation with stakeholders was undertaken.
It also states that “minory” sites would be left to be preserved in a “distant past”.
What was the heritage commission’s recommendation?
The heritage committee recommended that the area designated as a minority land should be designated with a designated area plan.
The report also mentions that “in a long and uncertain history, the heritage sites of the city were not protected.
The entire heritage zone is located at the intersection of three roads, one of which has been in existence for over three centuries.
This is a huge and complex landscape that has never been protected.”
The committee stated that it was also of concern that the proposed area plan was not in line with the heritage and cultural heritage guidelines, and that it would have required a consultation process with stakeholders.
It further stated that there is no legal obligation to ensure that these areas were protected.
What does this mean for the future?
According to the heritage report, “The committee felt that the designated areas plan would not take account of the unique circumstances of heritage sites, the diversity of heritage values and heritage locations in the state and that the design would have a negative impact on the cultural heritage of Mumbai.”
According to the report, this will not only be a negative for the cultural values of the area, but also for the environment.
The proposed plan is designed to create a buffer between the protected heritage sites and the heritage area, which will “protect and preserve the heritage environment for future generations.”
This buffer will also be detrimental to the people living there, it says, adding that the buffer is “unacceptable”.
Is the proposed plan sustainable?
The report states that a lot more work needs to be done to ensure the protection and preservation of the historical monuments.
It has proposed a new process for heritage conservation, but it has not been made public.
It states that it will be in place in a few months, with the intent of making the recommendations available for consultation by stakeholders.
Why has the heritage board recommended a buffer?
In the report to the government, the history commission mentioned that the proposal was made in the context of the Maharashtra heritage scheme, which had proposed to preserve historic sites in a similar manner.
However, this was not included in any heritage plan.
The history commission also cited that the Mumbai heritage plan does not include any provisions for preservation.
It notes that the Maharashtra government has made a public declaration stating that