UK for PPP model to restore heritage structures in Bengal

Economy Bureau | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 07:29am hrs
Heritage value, one of the greatest economic assets, can be used for sustainable economic benefits, according to Philip Davis, planning and development director of English Heritage.

He said West Bengal, statutorily obliged to protect its heritage constructions, should adopt the private-public partnership model to renovate heritage buildings and turn them into heritage sites.

The British government, which partners the Kolkata Municipal Corp through the Department for International Development (DFID) for various urban development projects, is ready to provide technical assistance to the KMC for protecting heritage constructions, Davis said.

KMC mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said it has identified 1,300 buildings in Kolkata and is in the process of renovating them. BBD Bag has been declared a heritage area and the KMC, in order to maintain the area's heritage character, would not allow hoardings and any form of graffiti there.

Kolkata's river front development was being done in line with the heritage makeover, Bhattacharya said.

A five-member UK Heritage & Regeneration Mission, headed by George Nicholson, chairman of the London Rivers Association, is in Kolkata to discuss with the government the possible ways of renovating the heritage structures in the city.

Nicholsan said the West Bengal government could share the UK's experience, and the UK can be a stakeholder in restoring and rejuvenating Kolkata's heritage structures.