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Free architect services for heritage homes

These houses, constructed decades ago, were never renovated due to limited resources available in the olden days

For the first time, citizens can avail of architectural plans of their heritage homes for the purpose of renovation and repairs. 

These houses, constructed decades ago, were never renovated due to limited resources available in the olden days. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is now offering to prepare the drafts of these houses and map them for the owners through architects. 

Additionally, the civic body will also prepare a list of skilled workers who can carry out carpentry and other renovation works in the heritage structures without damaging them.

Ahmedabad was declared the first world heritage city in India by the UNESCO in 2017. The AMC has identified 2,200 heritage homes in the city. 

Till date, owners of heritage properties could not undertake renovation and repairs without getting an approval from the AMC.

The civic body will now prepare and hand over the layout plan of the house and offer services of an architect if an owner wants to renovate or undertake repairs in his/her property.

The civic body, in order to ensure that these owners do not hire unskilled workers to undertake repairs of the heritage property, will prepare a database of carpenters, painters, masons and fabricators. 

They will be skilled and capable of performing repairs in the heritage properties without damaging them and deteriorating their heritage value.

Jayendra Patel, who owns heritage property in Hanuman Pol, said, “AMC’s initiative to help us get in touch with architects to renovate our heritage property is commendable. A few architects had visited my house and collected information about it. I want to renovate my house, but I will now consult these architects before making changes to my house.”

Kanu Patel said, “I had never seen the map of my house, because the houses constructed in olden days did not have a proper plan and mapping. I am happy with AMC’s decision as my house will finally have a layout on paper.”

Jasmine Gohil, vice principal, School of Architecture, Anant University, told Mirror that the varsity’s team comprising 20 faculty members and 80 students are working together on it. “We are preparing the maps for the first 50 heritage properties. The mapping of every house takes about 15-20 days due to its huge size. We will submit these maps to the AMC, after which the owners of the property can collect it from the civic body.” 

Ashish Trambodiya, Director, Ahmedabad Heritage Conservation Trust, “Due to lack of knowledge and resources, people residing in pols and heritage houses would undertake renovations from ill-skilled people, damaging the property. To conserve heritage, we are creating a system where we will offer services of architects, who will advise them keeping the value of heritage intact. Moreover, we are also mobilising workers skilled in carpentry and carving. If the property owners want to undertake repairs, they can contact these workers so that the property is not damaged.”

Handing over TDR rights will be easy 

Utpal Sharma, architect, professor at Nirma University, said, “This initiative is part of the heritage city project. In two years’ AMC is expected to submit the drawing documents of 2,200 properties to the UNESCO. So, the students of Nirma University are making plans for 300 houses. Already, plans for 50 of these have been completed. One advantage is that handing over transferable development rights will be easy and people can renovate their homes as per the plans. This document will also help other heritage cities in preserving their heritage properties.” 


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