On Wednesday, 23 properties were sealed by the heritage and estate departments of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation by coming down heavily on illegal demolitions of listed heritage properties in the core Walled City zone. The owners have been repeatedly issued notices to stop this illegal construction and demolition of heritage properties.
Of the 23 buildings, four heritage structures were completely replaced by commercial buildings, while in two cases there were open plots. At a majority of heritage properties, construction was on without seeking permission from the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) at the AMC. Earlier in June, the estate department had sealed eight properties citing similar reasons.
The drastic step comes after a rapid visual survey of 489 listed heritage properties in February this year revealed that 38 buildings were demolished, at 11 sites there were just open plots, in case of 50 properties new modern additions were being made that were incongruous to the original heritage building.
In cases where the heritage properties could be salvaged by issuing instructions to the owners to revert to the old facade designs, AMC officials claim there may be some leniency. Officials claim that the sealing drive will continue in the coming days. This is the first time that a series of heritage buildings have been sealed after it was discovered that the owners did not obtain permission for construction.