dalhousie

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By: lungenayan (80 month(s) ago)

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Dalhousie Square, Calcutta – A Heritage of the Nation Manish Chakraborti Conference "The Conservation of Colonial Cities": Colonial cities in and around India Where: Mumbai, Auditorium, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai When: 27th – 28th february 2003 Organised by: Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai, Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) Contact: Manish Chakraborti (ashmon@cal2.vsnl.net.in )  

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Vanishing in the urban chaos of modern Calcutta, the conservation and urban revitalisation of the historic city centre of Dalhousie Square is indeed significant.

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Conservation of Heritage Zone of Dalhousie Square Calcutta Towards a Management Plan Action Research in Conservation of Heritage

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Introducing Dalhousie Square Calcutta Evolution of the city

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The European Quarter of the city

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The Indian Quarter of the city

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Calcutta 1690 - 1757

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Dalhousie Square arounsd the Tank, 17th century

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Fort from the River, where GPO stands today

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St. Annes Church with the Fort William at the rear

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Calcutta 1757 - 1798 St John’s Church and churchyard Writers Buildings

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The Tank The Tank

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The Old Mint

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The Government House, inspired from Curzon’s House Kaddleston Hall in Derbyshire

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The Old Court House Street

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The historic city center in relation to the city The present Fort William

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Dalhousie Square The historic city centre of Calcutta A heritage zone of the Nation

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First in Dalhousie Square HERITAGE OF THE NATION Hickey Hickeys Gazette was first published here First newspaper which completed 100 years, The Englishman, was published from here from 1833 – 1934 Electricity was introduced here when Flury and Co demonstrated the use of power in 1878 Use of gas was first demonstrated here in the early 1900s The first Broadcasting Corporation, the Indian Broadcasting Corporation, was set up here in August 1,1927 The first escalator was introduced in the Reserve Bank of India Nobel Laureate CV Raman had his first job at the Accountant General Office here before becoming a physicist India’s first hotel, Great Eastern Hotel, was set up in 1840 The first English playhouse was set up at the Mission Road / Lalbazar crossing in 1745 The first bank, Bank of Hindusthan, was set up in 1770 _________

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The Classical Dalhousie Square

19th century Dalhousie Square still largely survives : 

19th century Dalhousie Square still largely survives

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Tank Square today

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Tank Square, yesterday

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Netaji Subhas Bose Road, today

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Clive Street, yesterday

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Treasury Building, today

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Treasury Building, yesterday

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The Restored Town Hall, today

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The Town Hall, yesterday

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St Johns Church and churchyard

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St John’s Church yesterday

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Except Dalhousie Institute The visual axis between the Governor House and the Writers Building Imperial Bank The Marble Statues Well designed environmental settings like street lamps, seats, clean pavement, etc And many more

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Imperial Bank, Bank of Bengal, demolished

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Imperial Bank Dalhousie Institute Abandoned warehouses Demolition & Neglect of heritage resource Currency building Unlisted warehouses under threat of demolition Tank square ill kept

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Conditions of our footpath and public utilities like telephone meter No well paved footpath for the pedestrians Public utility on the pavement block the right of way for the pedestrians Badly designed and non-uniform grill (in design and color) Encroachments by food stalls and squatters on the footpath

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The Currency Building overnightly destroyed

From Insensitive destruction to a growing concern for protection of heritage : 

From Insensitive destruction to a growing concern for protection of heritage

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Kolkata Municipal Corporation Under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act the following provisions for heritage preservation are incorporated  Constitution of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Heritage Conservation Committee in 1998 headed by Municipal Commissioner and 7 members  Prepares a Draft Regulations for Heritage Buildings and Precincts  List of 1300 heritage buildings in CMA  Inventory of Heritage Buildings  Review of conservation / development plan of listed heritage buildings  Inspect and monitors conservation works  Provision of incentives like tax exemption, change of compatible use, transferable development rights (TDR).

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Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority  Passes a Heritage Act, 2002 whose jurisdiction is the State of West Bengal.  Forms a Heritage Commission to identify and list heritage buildings in different districts.  Identified key Heritage Zones in the Vision 2025 Plan namely Dalhousie Square, Riverfront Area , College Street Area,  Initiated the Riverfront Development – removal of encroachment and landscaping the edge of the River.

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Public Works Department, Government of West Bengal  A large number of Government Institutions housed in listed heritage buildings are maintained by the PWD Ex: Writers Building, Government House, Legislative Assembly, The High Court,etc  Roads are maintained by the PWD  PWD are often the implementation arm of conservation work for the State Archaeology  Prepares the Government Schedule of Rates for various civil works followed by all the departments of the State Government including conservation. Presently working on a separate schedule of rates for conservation.  Recently restored the Prinsep Monument  Has plans for undertaking an underground parking (under BOT scheme) near the Tank Square.  Has Plans for beautification and landscaping of the Tank and its surroundngs

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Archaeological Survey of India  Protects, Conserves and Maintains 117 Monuments in West Bengal and 1 Monument (Metcalfe Hall) in Calcutta under the Ancient Monument Act.  Plans to take up and protect the dismantled Currency Building in Calcutta along with two more Synagogues in Dalhousie Square  Plans to propose the Bishnupur Group of Temples for UNESCO World Heritage Inscription. (West Bengal is not represented among the List of World Heritage Sites in India)  Has trained conservation professionals and expertise  Conserves and Maintains Victoria Memorial under Deposit Work

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On going conservation project Town Hall Metropolitan Building General Post Office Metcalfe Hall Treasury Building Currency Building House of Vivekananda House of Vidyasagar House of Rabindranath Tagore Revival Of Star Theatre Sovabazar Natmandir

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The Town Hall Restored in 1997. Funded by auction of paintings by a noted artist to Corporate Houses.

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Calcutta Panorama Town Hall gifted in 2002 with a museum on the evolution of the city and its social, cultural and political significance

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The Metropolitan Building Scheme drawn out. Restoration has begun with one panel. Funded by the Life Insurance Corporation of India

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The General Post Office, Calcutta Recently restored by the Post and Telegraph Department

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The Metcalfe Hall, Calcutta The only protected Monument by the ASI in Calcutta. Funded by ASI

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The Treasury Building Conservation work in its planning stage. Funded by the CAG office, GOI

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The Currency Building In the process of being protected by the ASI.

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The House of Vidyasagar Conserved in 1999. Funded by Deptt of Higher Education, Government of West Bengal

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The House of Vivekananda Conservation is in its final phase. Funded by Ramkrishna Mission, Ministry of Culture, GOI and West Bengal Government

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Revival of Star Theatre The work started in Nov 2002. Funded by KMC

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NGOs in conservation and city improvement Society for Preservation Concern for Calcutta CBE (Centre for Built Environment) PUBLIC ( People United for Better Living in Calcutta) INTACH ( Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) ICC (Indian Chamber of Commerce) ARCH (Centre for Action Research in Conservation of Heritage)

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Society for Preservation Founded by noted historian Nisith Ranjan Roy. Involved in lectures, publications, exhibitions and campaign for conservation of heritage buildings and sites in Calcutta. Concern for Calcutta Organisation of concerned citizens of Calcutta. Involved in proactive campaigning against inappropriate urban planning, traffic, and organising urban festival like the New Market Festival and River Festival with the Government and other organisations. CBE (Centre for Built Environment) Involved in writing, publications, planning advice, workshops, lectures, seminars and futuristic proposals for city’s problems

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PUBLIC ( People United for Better Living in Calcutta) mission is to improve the environment of Calcutta and promote sustainable urban living. Monitor air and noise pollution, land-use planning, the protection of open spaces and the conservation of heritage buildings. INTACH ( Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) The Calcutta Chapter of INTACH is involved in heritage awareness and acts as a catalyst to facilitate conservation initiatives in the city. It is involved in documentation, heritage awareness programmes and assist in conservation through its network of professionals

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ICC (Indian Chamber of Commerce) ARCH (Centre for Action Research in Conservation of Heritage) ARCH is working towards the conservation and awareness of heritage buildings and places. We campaign for reconciling conservation with development through initiating community planning and assisting in managing change of urban environment . It has expertise in the following: Documentation and Research, Heritage Walks, Restoration and Training Workshops.

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Conservation of Heritage Zone of Dalhousie Square Calcutta Towards a Management Plan Action Research in Conservation of Heritage

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Dalhousie Square The historic city centre of Calcutta A heritage zone of the Nation

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ASI takes over the dismantled currency building along with two other Jewish synagogues in Dalhousie Square making it 4 number of monuments under protection by the ASI in Calcutta

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Getting River Back to the city Initiatives by the CMDA, Post Trust, CMC for River front development

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Other Initiatives Town Hall gifted with the Kolkata Panorama – a city museum GPO is restored to its former glory The restored Metcalfe Hall has a publication counter and a brick museum The forgotten fountain is repaired CMC heritage committee ratifies the list of 1300 listed heritage buildings in Calcutta which recognises Dalhousie Square as a heritage zone under LUDCP The Heritage Act gets enacted by the State Government and a State Heritage Commission is formed. NGOs are more active in heritage preservation and conservation Media is taking on heritage stories actively. Heritage Awareness walks are here to stay International Organisations / individuals recognises the heritage resources of Calcutta

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Envisioning a future of Dalhousie Square, Calcutta Improving the city center of Dalhousie Square Heritage Zone is clearly very close to many of our hearts. Here are the things we would like to see. We have only included things that we know are possible to achieve.

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 An improved landscaping around the tank square.  A better designed and durable footpath for pedestrians.  A permanent mark on the street along the heritage walk  Interpretation and Information board. City Centre VISION A better designed, managed and enhanced city centre image NOW

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SIGNS / PLAQUES / MAPS PERMANENT MARK ON THE STREET ALONG THE HERITAGE WALK LANDCAPING OF TANK SQUARE DURABLE / BETTER DESIGNED FOOTPATH Durable / better designed footpath

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SOON  Well designed street furniture, viz street lights • uniform road dividers/ railings • base of existing trees • bus stand, • telephone kiosks • letter boxes • dustbins  More going on in the evening. Lighting of significant heritage buildings  Concerts at the un-utilised churches, town hall in the evening.  Arts and Cultural festival using the historical ensemble of buildings and historic settings City Centre VISION A better designed, managed and enhanced city centre image

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Well designed street furniture street lights • uniform road dividers/ railings • base of existing trees • bus stand • telephone kiosks • letter boxes • dustbins Traditional letter box to be continued Telephone Kiosk Selective Pedestrianisation Red pigment on tar road Seating arrangement Walkway promenade

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 Concerts at the un-utilised churches, town hall in the evening. Arts and Cultural Festival using the historical ensemble of buildings and historic settings More going on in the evening. Lighting of significant heritage buildings

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LATER  Renewal and adaptive reuse of redundant warehouses  Façade improvement of listed heritage buildings. City Centre VISION A better designed, managed and enhanced city centre image

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Adaptive reuse of redundant warehouses for gallery, housing office space, arts centre.

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FAÇADE REPAIR SCHEME CONSERVING THE HISTORIC CITY CENTRE CALCUTTA 2002 - 2020

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What could be The Driving Engine for its implementation and management ? Dalhousie Square Association a collective body, which aims at generating public and corporate involvement towards the conservation of this historic heritage zone

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This is a presentation by ARCH, an acronym for Action Research in Conservation of Heritage.

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ARCH is working specifically towards awareness and conservation of heritage buildings and zones in Calcutta and West Bengal ARCH campaigns for reconciling conservation with development through initiating, community planning, networking and assisting in managing change of urban environment ARCH has been actively pursuing the following objectives namely since 1999Documentation, Research, Publication, Heritage Walks, Training Workshops in Repair of Heritage Buildings and Community Involvement for Conservation From Footsteps (walking tour) to Urban Revitalisation of Dalhousie Square

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Is this your vision ? Lets join hands to make them happen

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ARCH is recipient of the IFA (India Foundation for the Arts, Banagalore) Award for 2002 – 2003 For Documentation of architectural heritage buildings in Dalhousie Square. This document is presently underway which will be used while or if nominating Dalhousie Square to international organisations like UNESCO or WMF. Thank you From Action Research in Conservation of Heritage AA 171A Salt Lake, Calcutta 700 064 Tel: 337 5757 / 355 0915 / 355 3188 archheritage@hotmail.com

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