New laws required to stop demolition of old houses: Amit Chaudhury

Kolkata, Jul 10 : New laws and measures are needed to stop indiscriminate demolition of Kolkata's old buildings which bear the stamp of unique European-Bengali architectural pattern, says leading English author Amit Chaudhury.

Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of a discourse organised by the British Council and the University of East Anglia, the 2002 Sahitya Akademi Award winner said that many of the city's neighbourhoods had buildings which made it architecturally rich and unique.


Giving instances of such neighbourhoods like Bokulbagan, Kidderpore, Hindustan Park, Bhowanipore, Ganguly Bagan, Sarat Bose Road in the south and Baghbazar in the north to name a few, he said that these should be declared as "heritage precincts" and any urban renewal would have to take care of these neighbourhoods.

"Any urban renewal means keeping the most exciting spaces alive for that particular city," Chaudhury said. The author, who had recently penned an article in the Guardian on Kolkata's architecture, said the novelty of these buildings, no two of which are identical, lay in their use of existing space.

North Kolkata, he said, was still now replete with many old buildings distinct for their architectural ethos. However, these were either being torn down or were crying for renovation and upkeep.

Describing the unique architectural features of these old buildings, he said that they had slanted green windows, frontal porch and perforated ventilation.


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