'Strengthen town planning regulations to protect heritage sites'
“The urban development department is being apprised of the need to strengthen regulations in the Town Planning Act pertaining to protecting heritage structures,” said K R Ramakrishna, commissioner of archaeology, museums and heritage.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of World Heritage Day programme held at Tourism Development Institute (TDI) here on Wednesday, Ramakrishna said strengthening heritage guidelines would give the department a ‘strong legal holding’ to conserve heritage monuments.
Even though the proposal to strengthen regulations is pending since five years, Ramakrishna is optimistic that it would be implemented within the next three months.
Sharing his views on the work to be taken up, he said focus would be excavation, exploration and conducing seminars during the following months. With Rs 25 crore being granted by the 13th Finance Commission for archaeology, Rs 14 crore from state government in the present budget and Rs 8 crore for heritage conservation, Ramakrishna ruled out any scarcity of funds.
However, with Karnataka having nearly 769 state protected monuments and 700 Centrally protected monuments, he said lack of security was a cause for concern. He said it was difficult to depute security personnel at remote heritage sites. He mentioned that help of heritage clubs and local community would be sought to conserve structures.
Stating the example of Bidaram Krishnappa Mandira, he said it was important both as an heritage structure and cultural centre. A public private partnership (PPP) model is being mooted to keep the centre intact.
Earlier, speaking to students of TDI, he emphasised on the need for tourism students learning more about heritage — both tangible ( such as man-made ) and intangible (cultural practises). He noted that all cultures are related to agriculture.
He called upon the students to visit Amba Vilas Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion and other heritage sites in the city to gain more knowledge.
TDI director K S Nagapathi, AIISH former director N Ratna and others were present.