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(ARCHIVE) VOL. XXII NO. 23, March 16-31, 2013
Dear Mr. Finance Minister
Do you remember a Promise?
By The Editor

The Hon'ble Finance Minister of India
North Block, New Delhi 110001

Dear Sir,

Re: Allocation of Rs. 100 crore in the Union Budget to INTACH

This is to thank you for having allotted Rs. 100 crore in the Union Budget to the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). A recognition from you for this centre of excellence will go a long way in helping it reach its goals. INTACH is, as you are aware, the only body that works for the protection of heritage buildings that are not looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India. It also aims to protect natural and cultural heritage, which gives it its unique character and identity.

It was as a part of its mandate to protect built heritage that INTACH approached the High Court of Madras to prevent the demolition of Bharat Insurance Building on Anna Salai, Chennai. The Hon'ble Court agreed that the building is of heritage importance and ruled that it cannot be demolished. We need scarcely remind you of your own commitment to protect the building. You had promised that it would be put to good alternative use, keeping its architectural heritage intact. The Convener of the INTACH Chennai Chapter had also written to you in this connection a few months ago. Subsequent to that, the building's owners, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), submitted a plan for the restoration of the building. This was rejected by the Heritage -Conservation Committee of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority as it involved demolition of substantial parts of the structure.

As the building has now been without a roof for over several years, ever since the LIC made a start on demolishing it, the building has been exposed to the elements. While the fact that it is still standing gives the lie to the demolition certificate that was issued, it is a matter of time before the structure weakens. We, therefore, request your intervention in this matter.

INTACH, which has been entrusted with the task of restoring several buildings across the country, is more than competent to handle this task. In Chennai city it has worked on the restoration of Senate House and is now working on five buildings belonging to the High Court of Madras. It has also, in Tamil Nadu, restored the Governor's Bungalow in Tranquebar. May we, therefore, request you to urge the LIC to initiate a dialogue with INTACH on how best to restore the building?

We look forward to a positive response from you on this subject.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
The Editor
Madras Musings

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In this Issue

Dear Mr. Finance Minister
Desalination plants
Govt. funding helps heritage thrive
The Memorials of Schwartz
KVK and his public causes
The Stanley Hospital Story by Shobha Menon
From Gandhi & Rajaji to Em & Big Hoom
Past Times
A management guru remembered

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for Your Diary
Madras Eye


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