The latest government gazette notification shortening the list of conservable historic structures is “destructive to heritage properties”, said historians, architects and cultural activists at a discussion in the capital yesterday.
The speakers demanded that the government revoke the latest gazette and form a heritage council to protect heritage properties.
Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Bangladesh Institute of Planners and Bangladesh Itihash Sammiloni organised the discussion on independence, heritage and architecture in Cirdap auditorium.
“We are totally in the dark as to how and on what basis the list was shortened,” said eminent historian Prof Muntassir Mamoon.
The new gazette means the century-old Curzon Hall, Pogose School, Mitford Hospital, Salimullah Muslim Hall, Jagannth Hall, Fazlul Huq Hall and Dhaka Medical College can be demolished, he said.
The shortened list of heritage buildings looks like yielding to the power of real estate developers, as government bows down to grabbers of rivers and canals, he added.
Supreme Court lawyer AF Hassan Ariff said that the government is constitutionally obliged to protect heritage, which is a matter of inheritance and none has right to destroy it.
The government published a gazette notification last month with a list of 75 conservable heritage buildings in the capital. The previous list contained 93 buildings.