Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bylaws drafted for three city monuments

KOLKATA: Within the next month, three of the city's premier heritage buildings, will get their own bylaws to protect them from encroachment and visual pollution. Key persons from National Monuments Authority (NMA) were in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the draft bylaws and suggest changes for the Currency Building, Metcalfe Hall and St John's Church. The draft has been prepared by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), in consultation with Archaeological Survey of India.

The area within 100 metres of the heritage buildings will be declared a 'prohibited zone', debarring new construction within the area. The next 200 metres will be declared a 'regulated zone' where constructions, if allowed, will be monitored by civic and urban development authorities so that it doesn't clash with the look of the protected building.

The draft bylaws have been agreed upon in spirit, but NMA has asked them to check with Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which has its own heritage laws so as to ensure there is no clash between the bylaws and the KMC laws.

Details regarding height of new buildings in the regulated area, the floor area ratio, the usage of these buildings, facade design, building colour, building material, roof pattern and design, usage of open spaces, drainage systems, electric poles, underground constructions, parking and street lighting have all been attended to in the draft bylaws for the three buildings in question.

The draft specifies that in case of reconstruction within the regulated area, the maximum height of the building should be 18m and the floor area ratio should be 2.75.

"The facade of new constructions shall be in line with the existing facades of heritage buildings on Old Court House Street, Hare Street and Council House Street to suit the colonial architecture of the period. New constructions have to be brought to the street edge with no front, the dimensions of windows and doorways shall be in conformity with dimensions of the colonial period," the draft said.