Heritage concerns cast a shadow

  • By Hindu
  • | Thursday | 14th September, 2017

“However, the HCC has rejected many applications for the construction of new multi-storeyed buildings in the vicinity of heritage buildings. “New multi-storeyed buildings will hide the facade of the heritage buildings,” said Mr. Sriram. However, CMRL officials have now come up with a proposal to construct multi-storeyed buildings in the vicinity, violating the High Court order to conserve heritage buildings. A few years ago, CMDA decided to give a grant of ?400 crore for the development of the Chennai Central Square after the completion of the underground Metro Rail station near Chennai Central. “CMRL officials seem to have ignored the Justice E. Padmanabhan Committee report,” said an official.


The ambitious plan of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to develop a Chennai Central Square near Ripon Buildings is set to be disrupted following a new proposal of the Chennai Metro Rail to develop additional multi-storeyed buildings in the Chennai Central heritage area that has 21 structures of historical importance. A few years ago, CMDA decided to give a grant of ?400 crore for the development of the Chennai Central Square after the completion of the underground Metro Rail station near Chennai Central.

Three years ago, the Chennai Corporation Council also resolved to demolish existing modern structures that were constructed without conforming to the Indo-Saracenic architecture of Ripon Buildings and the Victoria Public Hall so as to facilitate the development of a Central Square and a people’s park in the area.

However, CMRL officials have now come up with a proposal to construct multi-storeyed buildings in the vicinity, violating the High Court order to conserve heritage buildings. “CMRL officials seem to have ignored the Justice E. Padmanabhan Committee report,” said an official.

CMDA officials who played a role in developing the proposal for the Chennai Central Square have cited the Padmanabhan Committee report and advised the CMRL to develop the Central Square only with underground structures.

“The original proposal was to permit CMRL to develop only underground structures. The new proposal to develop high-rises will damage the heritage value of the area. Some CMRL officials are trying to mislead the government. We are shocked,” said an official.

A few years ago, the CMDA had even shelved projects such as elevated skywalk connecting Central Railway Station and Egmore Railway Station to conserve the heritage value of buildings in the area.

Historian V. Sriram said the Justice E.Padmanabhan Committee had directed that the facade of no heritage building should be hidden. “New multi-storeyed buildings will hide the facade of the heritage buildings,” said Mr. Sriram.

The Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) of the CMDA and the experts on the Multistoried Building Panel are expected to make recommendations on permitting or rejecting the planning permission application for such a high-rise building near Chennai Central Railway Station. But many of the opinions of experts on such panels have been overlooked by the State government in the past. “However, the HCC has rejected many applications for the construction of new multi-storeyed buildings in the vicinity of heritage buildings. Just 20 applications have been cleared so far,” said an official. Stay updated with all the Chennai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles

NGO’s effort improves TB reporting patterns
  • Thursday | 22nd February, 2018