It’s ‘Not Smart’ to Restore a Dilapidated Mangaluru Municipality Bldg / ‘Bhooth Bungla’?
It’s ‘Not Smart’ to spend ‘Smart City’ Money in Restoring the 100-year-old Dilapidated Mangaluru Municipality Building, which looks like a “Bhooth Bungla”? (Haunted House?)- Are Our Officials hooked on Stupidity or What?
Mangaluru: I have said it earlier, and will say it again that “One thing for sure that Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) and its officials know how to spend taxpayers money on projects that don’t serve the purpose of the citizens, motorists or commuters. Just because there is lump sum money sanctioned towards “Smart City” development projects, you don’t spend it on projects which are useless and don’t benefit the citizens of Mangaluru. While MCC has gone forward in reconstructing a Clock Tower near Town Hall, which was once demolished to make way for traffic-here is yet another project that Mangaluru City Corporation is stepping into by spending few lakhs of money on restoring a dilapidated 100 plus-year-old Mangaluru Municipality building, located on Old Bunder Road-Mangaluru. If you look at the present condition of the building, it looks it has been bombed during World War II??
The question one sensible person would ask- Why would anyone restore a totally dilapidated building which will cost taxpayers money or for that matter, Smart City development funds sanctioned by the Modi government? A few of the tempo/auto-rickshaw drivers and business owners close to this dilapidated building were laughing at MCC’s plans in restoring the building, which is in a total disastrous state. Sources reveal that the 100 years old building, from where the history of Mangaluru City Corporation began, will soon be a historic monument as the Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) has plans to restore the structure.
Sources also stated that even though the present building with an area of 6000 Sqft approximately is in a dilapidated condition, but is still standing strong. This statement is not very much true because when Team Mangalorean visited the site to click a few pictures, the building looked like it is about to collapse anytime. This abandoned building for all these years has been used by beggars to spend their nights or by drunkards (See the pics, to believe?). The report also stated that it also reminds the rich culture and heritage of Mangaluru and it remains as a heritage structure. Hence, the MSCL has invited views and suggestions from citizens for the restoration of the building and its premises. But all of a sudden why is that MCC has woke up to restore this building, after ignoring it for decades? There’s a catch!
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 said.
MSCL will also seek suggestions regarding the upkeep of the heritage structure in future, he 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. We will also prepare a plan based on suggestions as to whether it can be used for official purpose or as a structure to promote tourism,” Nazeer said adding that a detailed project report will be prepared soon after studying suggestions from experts. He added that the Old Deputy Commissioner’s Office building located near the present DC office will be developed as an Art Gallery under the Smart City project.
Well said by the MCC Commissioner, but why even bother to restore such a dilapidated building which would cost a fortune- instead spend that money wisely on something useful so that the citizens would benefit. Mangaluru does not need any more museums or heritage structures- it needs better roads, better drainage, better footpaths, better facilities etc. Citizens should raise their voices against this proposed plan of restoring the century-old Mangaluru Municipality building- which would be a sheer waste of money.