Pune: French experts are being roped in by Pune civic body to restore about 250 heritage structures in the city. A decision to this effect was recently taken at the conclusion of a seminar held here on "Economics of Heritage Conservation" organised by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and UNESCO-led Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) and the French embassy. Elaborating on the project which is expected to initiated within three months with an approximate monetary allocation of Rs 5 crore for phase one, Shyam Dhavale, executive engineer of PMC in charge of heritage restoration, said, "French methods are seen as more appropriate for restoration of heritage structures in the city."
The civic administration has already identified about 250 heritage structures in the city which was the seat of power of the 18th century Maratha empire and is considered cultural capital of Maharashtra as well as Oxford of the East. Noting that the civic authorities had begun to identify buildings where French technology can be used, Dhavale said, "Structures will be selected on the basis of their existing 'health', reworking them to help increase their life".
The heritage list, worked out after an exhaustive study by experts, has been classified under Grade I, II and III structures and precincts, depending on their architectural aesthetic, sociological, historical and cultural significance and importance. Dhavale said a total remolding technique could be used in case of the structures that are in a totally dilapidated condition.
The restored structures could also be used to promote tourist attraction and interest in the city's history with resultant monetary earnings for the civic body, he added. The old red-tiled roofed structure of "Phule Mandai" which housed the city's vegetable market during the British rule as well as a towering synagogue, figure in the heritage structure's list.