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What next on Heritage Regulations ?

The zonal regulations amendment 2020 is an important step for heritage for the state overall . However for Bangalore the impact is different given point 2 which clearly establishes BDA as the LPA ie local planning authority via the defunct  arts commission to advise the heritage of the city as the appointed Heritage Conservation Committee .

Our Informal Zoom conversation with Shantala, director of Town planning and several others in the #HeritageBeku brought a fair amount of clarity and insights into both. Essentially until BDA sets up the  The arts commission as the de facto Bangalore heritage conservation committee, there is no advisory Heritage body and direction. . In addition the presence of BBMP as a further civic body controlling Heritage has to be noted. The new BBMP Act which has been put up to the council specifically has #Heritage related regulations as well. Please look at our blog post on this.

In whatever capacity, and however advisory a position, we are moving towards HCCs or heritage conservation committee‘s across Karnataka land planning authorities, and this will have a positive impact on conserving heritage, given that we have had no coverage on heritage protection since 2009.

So what does it mean for Bangalore’s heritage ? What is it that #HeritageBeku needs to do to forge forward and build on several conversations on the need for heritage regulations for the city? 

The first option is to sit tight and wait for something to evolve  in the fullness of time based on many recommendation made by an Intach or Heritage Beku and hoping to be right. The second is to work through from the political framework and share our concerns  with conversations with prominent influencers within the system. Creating a buy in to the cultural impact, heritage economy and creating a state heritage pride, maybe. Hopefully that point, the arts commission despite it’s advisory status can move forward. None of these perspectives are mutually exclusive and can be done in parallel too . The third option is I think the #HeritageBeku way.

One create an online petition as a placeholder for the concerns we have on the structure and future of heritage law in the city. Second set up a series of conversations with critical bureaucrats like the BBMP, BDA, heritage under tourism, Kannada and culture so as to get a concerted perspective on what the departmental drivers and concerns are, thereby arriving at some kind of common platform to build on going forward. Third to work on a collaborative online or physical  workshop with these stakeholders, bringing bringing them on to the same platform and create a common fabric and buy-in  for working together. Hopefully from here we can create a joint action plan. Next is to use the one month we have till the 15th May  to file a wish list and objections under the 13 E  of the Karnataka Town  and country planning rules so that the government records , and maybe internalises & implements citizens and civil societies view. Working with a pro-heritage media is important but we also know that , sometimes these things work better behind the scenes and low key , rather than the us vs them confrontational approach that tends to get  highlighted in media. I may be wrong and I’m happy to hear otherwise.

What we must remember is that overall this is a step in the right direction however late it might be. For some time I think that’s  #HeritageBeku Should take a supportive, collaborative and building block approach, working with govt  to create a buy in  and a collective vision. We have enough that we can build on in terms of granularity, but we must keep in mind that the need to JOINTLY move forward from the Bbmp and BDA in sync is critical. Otherwise this can move like the RMP 31 objections to the back drawer..

Your thoughts would be appreciated.


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