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#HeritageBeku writes to Chief Secretary to help restore (not raze) heritage Victoria Hospital

12 December 2019 Mr Vijay Bhaskar Chief Secretary Govt of Karnataka Vidhana Soudha Bangalore 560001 Dear Mr Vijay Bhaskar: Subject: Planned partial demolition of Victoria Hospital surgical wards In our meeting last month, we were grateful for your patient hearing and your complete agreement that city heritage , especially public heritage must be protected while city development goes on in parallel. We had extensively discussed the urgent necessity of heritage guidelines and regulatory framework to ensure that the processes and systems are set in motion . The government is expected to take the lead in enforcing and upholding heritage guidelines, and we look up to you for this. You will agree with me that the unnecessarily confrontational circumstances created as concerned citizens are caught off guard and respond with emotion and outrage, is highly avoidable. The Cubbon Park 7 storey building was a case in point where citizens were very concerned about any construction in a beloved commons and public natural heritage space . We understand that this is maybe on hold now and are grateful for the government re think on this issue. However, press reports today showing the planned demolition of the 1897 Victoria Hospital has caused us much anxiety , as we have had no advance information or idea that this was planned. Surely there are alternatives other than breaking even a part of a 120 year old part of our city and state’s collective history. Already, I understand a few structures were razed down to build the 6 storey OPD building 5 years ago , and sadly in addition, the new structure has no spatial contiguity to the original building, as is required by Heritage Guidelines. We are not clear as to what is planned , and we request you for clarity and details on this urgently. We also appeal to you , to please categorically ensure restoration of the heritage space rather than any demolition to put up an additional building. As the oldest teaching hospital and the city’s largest, the iconic Victoria Hospital certainly is a growing, buzzing centre of healing for 1000s of patients, and we respect that. Additional space and beds must be found to accommodate its growth as a teaching hospital . However we are sure that a via media can be found and Victoria Hospital left in its original state and restored rather than razed. We look forward to your earliest considered and informed response to this citizen request . Thanking you Yours truly Priya Chetty-Rajagopal For Team Heritage Beku Cc: Mr Rajnish Goyal. Secretary Home and PWD 

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