Proposal to bring heritage sites under town planning Act

Proposal to bring heritage sites under town planning Act

The Archaeology, Museums and Heritage department has proposed to bring heritage sites in the State under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act (KTCPA) for their protection and conservation.

Once the heritage sites are brought under the KTCPA, the urban development authorities such as the Bangalore Development Authority and the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) will be able to incorporate these sites in their master plans, which serve as a guide for public and private decision-makers for the future physical development.

This will make the task of protection and preservation of heritage sites easier and effective, Heritage Commissioner C G Betsurmath said.

The urban development authorities revise their master plans every 10 years.

These plans regulate the development and growth of a city or a town by forming various developmental zones such as residential, semi-residential, commercial and industrial zones.

However, currently, none of the authorities in the State has any plan for the conservation of heritage sites.

The Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage has, therefore, proposed to bring heritage sites, including buildings, heritage precincts and natural features of environmental significance across the State, under the KTCPA.

Currently, the heritage sites come under the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1961.
Rules
Comprehensive rules will be framed for the effective implementation of the KTCPA as far as the protection and conservation of heritage sites are concerned.

The urban development authorities already have powers to frame bylaws for heritage conservation under Section 12(f) of the KTCPA. But it can be done only after bringing heritage sites under the Act, he explained.

Besides, it has been proposed to set up district-level heritage conservation committees headed by deputy commissioners of the respective districts to coordinate and oversee implementation of various schemes meant for the conservation of heritage sites.

The panel also comprises conservation experts,  commissioner of the respective urban development authority and the officials of the Archaeology, Museums and Heritage department.

Task force

It has also been proposed to set up a Karnataka heritage task force committee under the chairmanship of the chief minister to steer various conservation and development programmes.

“Currently, discussions are on with the Law and Urban Development departments on drafting the amendment to the KTCPA and framing of the rules. It will be finalised after securing the government’s nod,” the commissioner said.

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