Pune still awaits approval for updated list of heritage sites on International Heritage Day today

As the world celebrates International Heritage Day today, there is unprecedented delay on the part of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to publish an updated list of heritage sites in the city. The previous list of heritage sites was published in 1992-93, and the latest list of 242 sites, which should have been published in 2000, is still awaiting approval from standing committee, general body, heritage wing of urban development department of the state government. According to head of the PMC’s Heritage Cell, the process is time consuming and will move along only after the updated list is officially published in the government gazette.

Where history was made: Yerawada Central Prison was built during British rule and Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here

Kiran Kalamdani, noted conservation architect and history scholar, who has made revitalisation of important heritage sites in the city, including the famous Shaniwar Wada, said, “Pune should have already come up on the heritage map of India long ago. The city boasts many beautiful heritage structures and sites located in various areas since the last 400 years. Sadly, there is a serious lack of political will towards heritage sites in the city and as a result, the updated heritage list is further delayed by over a decade.”

History lover Anant Kulkarni echoed the sentiment. He said, “We must respect these historic places and the PMC seems to be reluctant to get approval due to the total absence of political will from our honourable leaders.”

The Lal Mahal, where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj lived and cut off his rival Shahiste Khan’s fingers. File pics

Shyam Dhavale, head of Heritage Cell, PMC, agreed to the delay in publishing the updated heritage list. He said, “Yes, the updated list needs approval by the standing committee, general body and later from the heritage wing of the urban development department of the state government. This process is time consuming and will come into existence only after it is officially published in the government gazette.”

Dhavale added that the revised list was prepared by an expert committee of the PMC Heritage Cell last month.

Sharve Dhongade, member, Heritage Committee, PMC, said, “We had finalised a total of 242 heritage structures in Pune. We have also added some new sites only because of historic importance and also historic personality importance. Our work is over as the list was officially submitted to the PMC Heritage Cell in the first week of March.”

The break-up
>> Grade I heritage sites: 77
>> Grade II: 81
>> Grade III: 84
>> Total sites in city: 242
>> Heritage sites in 23 villages under PMC: 80

Sites proposed by heritage committee of Pune Municipal Corporation Grade I structures in city
>> Mahatma Phule Wada: Social reformist Phule stayed at the place and it has became a national monument
>> Kesri Wada: Lokmanya Tilak’s home
>> D V Karve’s Cottage: Social reformer started a school for orphan girls here in the 1920s
>> Lal Mahal: Home belonging to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, where he cut the fingers of his rival Shahiste Khan

Grade II
>> Historic bridges in the city: Lakdi Pul; Shivaji Pul; Band
>> Garden Bridges; Khadki Bridge; Haris Bridge; Holkar Bridge and Sangam Bridge
>> Yerawada Central Prison: Constructed during British rule, where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned
>> Important Paars (tree platforms) in city: Shani Paar, Shinde Paar and Nagnath Paar located in Sadashiv and Shukrawar Peth
>> Historic temples: Someshwar (Raviwar Peth), Rokdoba (Shivajinagar) and Panchmukhi Maruti (Shukrawar Peth)

Grade III
>> Vinchurkar Wada: Where Lokmanya Tilak started Sarvajanik Ganpati Utsav in 1894
u Sapindya Mahadev: A 25-ft statue made in during the Peshwa regime located in the old city 

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