Social activists say civic body should publish updated heritage list without further delay to make possible implementation of Development Plan in Pune

Following the announcement by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan about the approval of the Development Plan of the city, social activists are demanding that the updated heritage list of the city should be published immediately.

Grand old structure: The Mahatma Phule Mandai, a vegetable market in 
the city

As the updated list will have new heritage sites, detailed planning in the DP can be easily marked if the new heritage list gets declared. Vaibhav Gandhi, a social activist who had asked about the details of the heritage list to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said the civic body was not able to give the updated list of the heritage sites in the city. He said the PMC also could not give all the names of the heritage committee members with their qualifications. 

The PMC has to appoint members of the heritage committee as per a letter dated July 10, 1995, issued by the state government. With Gandhi, V R Jain, Anupam Saraf and others have also demanded that the heritage list should be officially declared as the DP has been approved.

According to Gandhi, as per the heritage law the PMC cannot do anything near 100 metres of each of the heritage sites. "If the DP is passed but the list is yet to get approved, then how can the actual planning and enforcing the law be possible?" he said. 

Gandhi said even a metro rail track can't be used near any heritage site. "I also want to ensure whether the heritage committee members are qualified or not, I have not been given the bio-data of each of the members even by asking via RTI," he said. Citing the example of the historic Shaniwar Wada, Gandhi said a notice was issued to the entire wada owners for preserving the status of their original structure. "In a way, this is no development zone," he said. "As per my knowledge there are more than 200 heritage sites and no such plan has yet been enforced." 

PMC says
Sharve Dhongade, member, PMC Heritage Committee, said, "The list is ready but can't be declared as it has been given for final approval to the City Improvement Committee.  Now it is up to the committee chairman when to declare the list.  But the committee may not be able to announce the list due to the election code of conduct. It may take another two to three months." 

Number of sites in updated list
Grade I: 73
Grade II: 78
Grade III: 85
Total: 236