Friday, July 17, 2009

Restoration or Renovation?

3 years ago I used to drive down to the Sewri Mudflats to see the migratory flamingos on a lot of weekends. On one such trip, equipped with my camera, I decided to visit the Sewri fort.
The dilapidated fort which had witnessed the vagaries of time and the weather and more so the unrelenting human hand seemed to be left to its own fate and I wished that the Government would do something to look after our heritage sites before it's too late.

I visited the Sewri Fort again last month. I had read reports in the Newspapers about the fort getting a face lift and wanted to see it for myself. The Government has finally done something about this heritage site...finally!!! I'm not sure how I felt about the new look though. On my first visit the fort bore an unkempt, dilapidated, rough but rustic look.
Today, the fort has been cleaned up. It no longer smells like a toilet or is used by miscreants. The peepal and banyan trees which were growing though the cracks of the walls are no longer there. The fort seems renovated!!!!!!!!! Shouldn't such places be restored instead so they still bear their old, rustic, historic look and yet are cared for so they don't crumble to dust someday?
The fort is all concrete now. It's a new fort now and no longer bears any semblance to a monument. Do compare the pictures in this post with my previous one.
Do respond to this post. I'd love to know what you think...


Anonymous said...

Hmm... sad... By the way any chance you can put the old/new pics someplace else? Like picasa.. and link them to this post. Coz they are large to download.


shoOOonya said...

What you have said is indeed true. In quite a few of the 'historically and archeologically important' monuments / sites ... the authorities get 'confused' between restoration and renovation.

India has such a HUGE wealth of 'historically and archeologically significant' sites ... and it is a pity to find them in either one state or the other (which you have highlighted in your post) ...

quaintkal said...

SAD :(
this is one issue which has always left me flummoxed..restoration vs. renovation!! maybe we dont have the right people to do the right job..n maybe the govt. is not really bothered..only to save face n avoid the flak, they 'do' something..but 'doing it right' would make all the difference, right?

Newshound said...

I don't believe they turned it into a concrete fort!!!

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