The difference of opinion between the District Heritage Committee and the railway authorities over the modification of the Mysuru railway station building remains unresolved, and the issue has now been escalated to the State government.
However, railway officials maintain that there is no violation and the modification works to decongest passenger and vehicular traffic at the entrance were not hampering heritage at all, and were on the contrary contributing to it.
At the heritage committee meeting held in the city on Monday, the members again drew attention to the ongoing modification works and expressed ire over it on the grounds that the works were in violation of heritage norms.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar, who said that the Railways was asked not to go ahead with the work pending another inspection slated for May 25.
“But representatives of the Railways said the works could not be stopped at this juncture,” said Sankar. He said no decision could be taken at the Monday’s meeting as a site visit has been fixed for May 25 involving senior officials.
The Mysuru railway station redevelopment and beautification work was launched a few months ago to decongest the premises, given the growth of train traffic and higher passenger footfall. But heritage committee members and Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh paid a visit to the site and objected to the ongoing works on the grounds that there was a violation of conservation norms some time in March.
But the railway authorities have maintained that the integrity of the heritage structure has not been compromised. Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager, said they were installing pillars at the main porch so that the façade had a continuity and it would not harm the heritage value of the structure.
The heritage committee will also write to the owners of heritage properties in the city to install fire-fighting mechanisms. The issue was raised by committee member N.S. Rangaraju, who drew attention to media reports about the lack of such features in heritage structures following the recent fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France.