Pics: Courtesy Ron The Bangalorewalla
15 March 2021
The Chief Secretary
Government of Karnataka
Subject: Maintenance and Preservation of the Heritage Space at Mysore Tobacco Co, 17 Richmond Road
We are keen to bring this above matter to your kind attention. After this state government company folded up in 1983, the offices at Richmond Road and Whitefield along with the space they occupy have fallen into disrepair. This is true of many buildings elsewhere in Bangalore, and we do hope that will also be duly actioned and its history preserved.
We understand that the plan is to get a heritage tag for the Richmond Road space as per the Board Meeting and possible use as a government office, based on this 2014 press article . In fact, in the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited Board Meeting of 5 Nov 2018, the Chairman and MD specifically passed the matter (Point 2 on Page 33 & 34) to ensure protect the heritage structure. (see end of letter).
However, since there is neither use nor proper upkeep, we are deeply concerned that this beautiful one-acre Gothic heritage building, and grounds may fall into further disrepair and crumble. We would request you to kindly ensure that the building and grounds are retained as heritage, some form of restoration taken up by conservationists (work could involve excellent professionals through a two-tier national competition which can be supported/conducted by Heritage Beku and other specialists) and also adaptive reuse for a government space – like an arts museum, heritage and culture center, office for the crafts council, tourism etc be undertaken. This will not only allow it to be preserved and maintained but also loved, used and part of our beloved city heritage.
We look forward to hearing from you and discussing how we can support you in this initiative.
CC: Secretary Agriculture
CC: All concerned
Extract from Board Meeting 5 Nov 2018
‘Maintaining and reviving the heritage structure of the registered office of the Company.
The Hon’ble Minister and Chairman of the company after inspecting the registered
office building of the company, owned by The Mysore Tobacco Company Limited
to be merged with the Company, has directed Managing Director of the company
to explore the possibility of getting the building declared as heritage building and
to protect the same as per the existing norms and guidelines prescribed for the
The Board accordingly passed the following resolutions instructing and authorizing
the Managing Director of the Company to engage the services of agencies who are
involved in identifying and reviving heritage structures for the purpose of reviving
the Registered Office of the Company as a Heritage Structure and obtain detail
report on such revival of the Structure and take appropriate action in this regard.
“RESOLVED THAT, approval of the Board be and is hereby granted to
engage the services of agencies who are involved in identifying and reviving
heritage structures for the purpose of reviving the Registered Office of the
Company as a Heritage Structure and obtain a detail report on the proposed
revival of the Structure.”
“FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Managing Director of the Company be and
is hereby authorized to negotiate with such agencies for fixing the
remuneration for their services referred above, accordingly issue work order,
obtain reports from them, make payment against their services and do all
such acts, deeds and things to give effect to the foregoing resolutions” ‘