100 Plus Years Old Mangaluru Municipality Building in Old Bunder Road to be Razed for Development Work of Kanara Chamber Road
Mangaluru: In the year 2018, the then Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) commissioner and MSCL managing director Mohammed Nazeer speaking to Media had said that the old municipality building, which was built approximately 100 years ago during the British era will be restored based on experts’ suggestions. “The way forward is to first document and restore the building to its old glory. Secondly, views of experts are required towards assigning a new lease of life by suggesting adaptive reuse keeping in mind the location and heritage value of the building. Suggestions are being invited from experts as to how the heritage structure can be restored without damaging it,” Nazeer had said.
Mangalore City Corporation, which was earlier a Municipality, came into existence in 1980. It was through the enactment of the Madras Town Improvement Act 1865 Municipal Council was established in 1866. It was decided to prepare a plan based on suggestions as to whether the restored municipality building could be used for official purposes or as a structure to promote tourism. Many Citizens had raised their voices against the earlier proposed plan of restoring the century-old Mangaluru Municipality building, stating that it would be a sheer waste of money.
Therefore, three years later, MCC had decided that instead of restoring the old building, it will be demolished for road development work. The century-old building, from where the city’s municipal administration began during the British era, will be demolished to develop Kanara Chamber Road. In fact, Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) in 2018was planning to restore the century-old building as a heritage structure. The plan was to restore the old building with an area of 6,000 sqft, into a monument.
However, MSCL recently decided to demolish the building to facilitate the widening of the road. MSCL General Manager (technical) Er Arun Prabha K S speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The building is in such a dilapidated condition, and that it cannot be restored. The road development work through MSCL is in progress in the Port ward of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC). Accordingly, work on the Kanara Chamber Road, which connects Badriya School junction in the ward, is also progressing. To facilitate the work, the old building needs to be demolished, and a letter in this regard was sent to the MCC in November 2021, seeking permission. The land where the building is located belongs to the MCC. As per MSCL’s plan, it requires 35.6 sqm for the road. The old building is in a dilapidated condition, and it is not being used,”
Mayor Premanand Shetty said that the MCC council has approved the proposal to demolish the building, and a resolution has been sent to the Town Planning Standing Committee for final approval.