The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed its disquiet over absence of any criteria for deciding the “modern heritage” status of post-Independence buildings in the Capital ever since the panel was set up in 2004.
Miffed with the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said: “From 2004 you have no criteria? Have you held any building to be heritage since then? If yes, on what basis? It appears they are only enjoying, not working. Why have a committee, disband it.”
The Court made the observation during the hearing of a petition filed by the Delhi chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) alleging “complete abdication” of responsibility by the HCC and the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) to protect the city’s “contemporary architectural heritage”.
INTACH has contended that the list of 62 structures was submitted to the HCC and DUAC in 2013. However, they have not notified the list till date resulting in a “legal vacuum”. The NGO also sought directions to the civic bodies to not damage or demolish any of these buildings. As per INTACH, other modern structures that need to be protected include the India International Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lotus Temple, Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts and Crafts Museum, all of which are currently not protected under any law.