Sunday, July 11, 2010

Law to protect heritage structures planned

KOCHI: The civic administrators are working on a proposal to protect the heritage structures of Kochi. The Town Planning Standing Committee of the Kochi corporation will consider the draft heritage bylaw that was drawn up for Kochi some six years ago at its next sitting. Though the bylaw was drafted during the term of the previous civic administration headed by C.M. Dinesh Mani, the authorities had failed to notify it. The absence of a legal framework in the city had led to blatant violations and rampant demolitions of heritage structures in the heritage zone of Fort Kochi. Many tall structures had come up in the vicinity of heritage monuments in the city during the past few years.

At the same time, places like the Old Railway Station near Mangalavanam where leaders of Independence movement like Mahatma Gandhi had landed, are in ruins.

Incidentally, Kochi was one of the first cities to make a concrete move for conserving and protecting its rich heritage lineage. The corporation had also formed a Centre for Heritage Conservation, Environment and Development (CHED) under the Town Planning Standing Committee for heritage conservation during the term of the previous council.

According to E.M. Sunilkumar, chairman of the committee, The Town Planning Standing Committee will discuss the draft heritage bylaw at its next meeting scheduled for Thursday and a proposal will be forwarded to the corporation council for approval.

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