Conservation of heritage site of dhaka city

Published: 2021-08-05 17:10:06
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Category: Conservation, Bangladesh, Archaeology, Heritage

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Background of the study Dacha, one of the oldest cities of Bangladesh, has a glorious history of over 400 years. Because of the location and strategic advantage, it was the hub of central activities and administrative activities during various historic periods. The Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, the Fagan Ruling prior, the McHugh Ruling Period, the British Colonialism, the partition of Bengal, the Liberation War and the contemporary era have enriched Dacha's history and the testimonies of those periods have remarkable significance in the nation's identity.
With the passage of time, Dacha has gone through changes to keep pace with the modern globalizes world but yet some testimonies of different historic periods remain. RAJAH has enlisted 93 historic sites of Dacha of different historic periods and published in a gazette form in 2009 but proper measures have not been taken from government initiative to conserve majority of these sites after enlistment. As a result the condition of many of these historic sites are formidable in respect to structural condition, illegal occupancy, incompatible structures, lack of maintenance.
In this study, we have tried to identify the location and present notation of these 93 enlisted heritage sites and develop some proposals and policies for the proper conservation of these sites. There have been many researches on the heritage sites of Dacha but majority of these researches focus on the sites that have gone through proper conservation measures and are maintained well. Many of the enlisted heritage sites are in deplorable condition and are in a way to ruin but do not get any attention from planning authorities.



The distinction of this study from previously conducted researches is that it has covered and highlighted the heritage ties that are in a relatively deplorable condition beside the sites that are in a better condition. An overall guiding policy and framework have been proposed for the conservation of these legacies of the country. 1. 2 Methodology Figure 1. 1 : Methodology of the Study Project Selection: At the very first stage, the project was selected through the course teachers under the course "Urban Planning Studio". It was about the Conservation of the Heritage sites of Bangladesh.
Formulation of Objectives: The objectives of study were formulated to achieve the goal. Preparation of literature review: Literature view has been prepared by studying international rules and regulations for conservation, criteria for conservation, different acts and policies. Laws of Bangladesh also has been studied for conservation. Three cases of conserved sites from foreign countries have been studied. Selection of Study area: RAJAH enlisted 93 sites were distributed among nine groups. Each group was assign to survey ten sites.
Data collection through field survey: Data and information were collected though field survey. The location of the heritage sites, their ownership status, conservation status and uses were identified. Selection of sites for detailed survey and analysis: Three sites were selected for detail survey analysis from previous ten sites. Data collection of selected sites: Data and information were collected of selected three sites. Primary data: Primary data were collected though field survey. Local people and owners were interviewed and photographs were taken through this process.
Secondary data: Secondary data were collected though visiting different Government offices, private organizations and internet. Problems identification: Different problems and issues were identified through survey and analysis. Determination of leslies and proposals: Policies and proposals were generated and determined considering the prospects and problems regarding the sites. Final Presentation and Report Submission: Finally a presentation has been prepared and report has been submitted. 1. 3 Objectives 1. To study location and present condition of the historic sites of Dacha city. . To determine some proposals for the conservation of selected sites. 1. 4 Rationale of the study: Historic site conservation is very significant an issue to bring variability and uphold the historic magnificence while planning an urban area. So, a defined study on inspiration of the heritage sites for formulating comprehensive guidelines based on the identified issues is Justifiable. 1. 5 Scopes and Limitations While conducting the study some scopes of the study were identified as well as some limitations were faced.
Scopes To identify the present state of the heritage sites, detail survey have been performed and secondary sources have been gone through carefully. The owners of the sites have also been interacted to sort out the problems underlying in conservation of sites. The analysis has helped to formulate the policies and proposals for the maintenance of the historic sites. If any project is planned in future by government or private sector for the conservation of heritage sites, the findings of this study would help to a great extent. Limitations Extracting of data regarding the heritage sites requires much time.
Because of time limitation, the analysis could not be done in a greater scale. For conducting the survey it was necessary to visit the study area several times which caused problems with expense issues. In some cases, the owners were not that much willing to provide information. Accessibility to some sites was very poor because of the poor infrastructure and transport modes. Getting information from government authorities was difficult because of their resource limitation. No systematic database is maintained in most of the government authorities.
Chapter 2 LITERATURE REVIEW "The cultural heritage may be defined as the entire corpus of material signs - either artistic or symbolic - handed on by the past to each culture and, therefore, to the whole of humankind. " (CICERO, 1990, p. 4) 2. 1 Criteria for Conservation 2. 1. 1 General criteria Scholars and organizations have established criteria to assign a site or structure as heritage site based on various parameters. Countries worldwide have developed their own assessment criteria for heritage conservation considering these conventional parameters as well as taking into account the particular issues of own regions.
World Heritage Trust has fixed six criteria (Aesthetic, Typical, Scarcity, Historical role, Enhancement of adjacent areas, Superlatives) the fulfillment of one or more of which would make a site worthy of conservation. Reign (1902) categorized the parameters in basic five typologies- Age, Historical, Commemorative, Use, Newness. Lips (1984) emphasizes five aspects (Economic, Aesthetic, Associative-symbolic, and Informational) for assigning a site as a heritage site.
Burr Charter proposes for assigning a site as a cultural heritage when it has any or more than one of these values: Social (including spiritual, political, national, other cultural), Scientific, Aesthetic, Historic (Mason, n. D. ). Age, historical legacy, special architectural fabric of some particular period, rarity, human settlement of traditional indigenous communities are some very common criteria observed in the conservation principles of most of the countries' act. Regarding age of the buildings, majority of nations' isolation call for conservation of structures erected before 100 years or more.
In Scotland, buildings erected before 1840; in Germany, those places which have survived for at least 50 years; in South Africa, structures older than 60 years; in Egypt, historic sites more than 100 years old; in Pakistan, structures of at least 75 years; in England, historic sites erected before 1st July 1948 are recommended to be enlisted as heritage sites (English Heritage, n. D. ). Conservation of religious icons, like- ancient churches, mosques, cathedral, temples, cemetery, tomb, monastery, holds significant importance for conservation in the acts of majority of countries.
Conservation of ancient mines, caves, forts and palaces are very common worldwide. 2. 1. 2 Country wise Special Criteria Some nations have unique historical background or cultural identity which plays an important role in their fixing of criteria for heritage conservation. In Nepal, the religion has a great impact in the conservation criteria of cultural heritage. In some countries, the places that have association of the historical or religious leaders are conserved for the spiritual and historic significance. According to Ancient
Monuments Protection Act of Nepal, " Archaeological Object means the object made and used by human being in prehistorically period or handwritten genealogy, scribed or inscribed idol, temple of god or goddess, Buddhist cenotaph, statue, thanks, things used in royal palace". (Department of Archaeology, 1956) South Africa has a remarkable history of slavery and this holds a vital place in their assessment criteria of a site to be in consideration of conservation (SAHARA, 2013). In South Africa and England, the assessment criteria have been set bringing all the historical monuments under three grades or categories.
In South Africa, Monuments of having importance at national level are assigned in Grade I and monuments having significance at provincial level fall in Grade II and the remaining ones with exemplary architectural interest fall in Grade Ill. English Heritage,a public body of the British Government in England, classifies the heritage sites of England in three categories: Grade I (buildings of exceptional interest), Grade II* (particularly important buildings of more than special interest), Grade "(buildings of national importance and of special interests)(English Heritage, n. D. ).
In India, INTACT also categorizes the sites for conservation in two groups according to priority for conservation. Priority has been given to out-of-town developments meaning that town centers, local trade and small scale commercial enterprises are under threat (INTACT, n. D. ). In China, the ancient trees are also assumed as cultural property and are recommended to conserve. In September 2002, when the Municipality of Beijing issued a plan for protecting cultural property and relics within the municipality's borders, it included a provision for protection of "ancient and famous trees" (Durra, 2004). Norway Act Concerning the Cultural Heritage, tress of special significance are recommended to conserve(Ministry of Environment, 1978). 2. 2 Principles 2. 2. 1 Publishing of enlisted buildings in gazette form In most of the country, the list of the heritage sites is published in a gazette form to inform the general people. The list is also published in a number of renowned newspapers to get people informed. In Norway, notice is given in the Norwegian Gazette and in at least two newspapers for public inspection.
In Nepal, the list of selected heritage sites is published in a gazette form (Department of Archaeology, 956). 2. 2. 2 Ownership, acquisition and maintenance Regarding ownership, owners are encouraged to conserve the heritage sites leaving it to original owner based on the condition of its proper maintenance in many countries. In some cases, government acquires the historic buildings from owners when there is lack of proper maintenance or vulnerability of its demolition. In Nepal, acquisition of historic sites is observed.
In Section 5, the Chief Archaeology Officer has been empowered to cause the owners of ancient monument to enter into a deed of responsibility for Supervision of the monument, responsibility of the monument ND duties of its watchman (Department of Archaeology, 1956). In India, the central government may acquire the protected monument under provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 if a protected monument is in danger of being destroyed, injured, misused, or allowed to fall into decay.
In Section 2(C) of Indian's The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, it has been stated that owner's right can be restricted for ensuring the proper maintenance of a historic site (Gazette of India, 1958). In case of private ownership, an agreement is signed between the owner and the government for the proper protection of the monument. In Australia, The Minister enters into an agreement (a heritage agreement) on behalf of the Territory with the owner of a heritage place or object (Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment, 2011). . 2. 3 Tax incentive for conserving heritage sites TAR (Transfer of Development Right is a very effective measure in motivating the owners of the heritage site to leave the heritage site in government's acquisition for its proper safeguard. Conservation projects in Hong Kong and Australia gives evidence of effectiveness of TAR in motivating the private owners. Tax reductions and ax incentives can be effective instrument to encourage the owners of the historic monuments to conserve the historic building.
In Germany, the owner of a general building who lets his property has a depreciation of tax of only 2 % per annum. The owner of a historic building has for eight years a depreciation of 9 % per annum and for the following four years a depreciation of 7 % per annum (RISC Research, 2007). 2. 2. 4 Construction compatibility Compatible construction and maintenance of environment within a particular extent of the enlisted site is observed in the legislation of many countries.
In article 7 of Ireland's Law on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Properties, it has been mentioned that no person can build or allow another to construct a building within the registered limits of an archaeological area, without the permission of the Institute of Archaeology (Office of Attorney General, 2004). In Pakistan, the zone for compatible construction around a historic site is fit (Antiquities Act, 1975). To protect a historic structure from disturbance in Norway, a zone shall extend from the visible or known perimeter as far as necessary around an automatically protected monument r site.
The area shall be encircled in each case by the concerned authority (Ministry of Environment, 1978). In India the prohibited area is mm and more mm beyond it is also included for reconstruction, repair or renovation compared to the main site (Gazette of India, 1958). 2. 2. 5 Alteration of heritage site Addition, destruction or alteration is strongly discouraged in majority of country's legislation. If done so, provision of punishment is kept in most of the country's act.
However, if any such measure for alteration is to be undertaken, taking consent from planning authority is a must. In Policy BE 8 and Policy BE 12 of Planning Policy Statements of Ireland, it has been stated that the planning department can permit for any alteration when the new development is in sympathy with the characteristic built form of the area and the scale, form, materials and detailing of the development respects the characteristics of adjoining buildings in the area. The environmental aspects have also been considered (Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage, 1999).
In Germany, it is mandatory to seek permission from the state authorities for all proposed changes to the building, or demolitions and any change that does not eave resemblance with the original form cannot be done. For example, no modern large windows are allowed in a historic building (RISC Research, 2007). According to England's legislation, new work or alteration in England to a significant place is acceptable if the alteration ensures no material harm to the values of the place and the value of the place is reinforced or further revealed (English Heritage, 2008).
Some countries' acts have provision for replacement or alteration of features of heritage sites if the feature is in an almost ruined state. But the condition of minimum intervention to the originality of the heritage site is persistently applicable in these scenarios. If repair of a historic structure by stabilization, consolidation, and conservation proves no satisfactory result, the next level of intervention involves replacement.
This replacement has to very limited and is applicable in kind of extensively deteriorated or missing parts of features when there are surviving prototypes (for example, brackets, dentals, steps, plaster, or portions of slate or tile roofing). The replacement material needs to match the old both physically and visually, I. E. , wood with wood, etc (Weeks, et al. 1995). In special cases, permission can be given for demolishing a building but this is very rare a scenario. In Ireland, The Planning Department does not permit the demolition of a listed building unless there are exceptional reasons.
Proper reasoning has to be Justified before demolishing about why the building cannot be retained in its original or a reasonably modified form (The Planning Service, 1999). 2. 2. 6 Penalty for damage Any damage or attempt to harm the heritage site calls for severe punishment in most of the country's legislations. According to Indian's legislation, any person who moves NY antiquity shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees; and the court conviction a person of any such contravention may by order such person to restore the antiquity to the place from which it was moved(Gazette of India, 1958).
Section 51 of National Archives and records service of South Africa Act calls for guilt fines up to a maximum amount of ROI 000 for infringement of the terms of Act and heritage resources authority is responsible for punishment (SAHARA,1996). 2. 3 Strategies for Conservation The common tools used in different countries for conserving a historical site involve obliteration, restoration, replication, adaptive reuse and preservation. Restoration is a process where any alteration from the original form is removed and the structure is returned in exactly its original form.
It is the toughest form of conservation and can only be carried out when there is substantial physical and documentary or oral evidence to retain the authenticity of the structure. Rehabilitation and renovation are more flexible conservation approaches. Rehabilitation has to be undertaken to make decrepit buildings usable again by bringing necessary modifications in the interior art and leaving the exterior part in the original form.
Preservation should be considered as the primary treatment when the historic place's materials, features and spaces are essentially intact and thus convey the historic significance without extensive repair or replacement (Canada's Historic Places, 2010). Adaptive reuse refers to the utilization of buildings other built structures and sites of value for purposes other than that for which they were intended originally (Australia COSMOS, 2013). Relocation is also a conservation tool which is applied in very rare cases. In Egypt, relocation of a heritage site is done only if the site is in danger of natural hazard.
Otherwise conservation has to be done in the original place (Nashua, et al. , n. D. ). 2. 4 Institutional Arrangement for Conservation For conserving the historical monuments, a strong institutional framework and coordination among the authorities is found in western and some of the Asian countries. The conservation procedures from the very beginning of assessment and declaration of the site as a historical monument towards the protection of the site from decay is done by Archaeology Department of the nation and the planning omission or planning department of the government.
The institutional framework for heritage conservation involves the following steps: Figure 2. 1 : Planning process methodology for institutional framework Source: Mason ( n. D. ) 2. 4. 1 Government agencies, central and local government In Norway, Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage Management is a government agency manages cultural heritages at national level whereas County Municipalities are responsible for the management at regional level.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SASH) is responsible for historical site conservation in China. In Singapore, AURA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) is designated as the national conservation authority charged with powers under the Planning Act to issue conservation guidelines, advise the Minister for National Development on getting areas for conservation and grant planning permission for restoration works apart from serving as the national planning authority(Legislative Council Secretariat, n. D. . The responsibility is distributed between the central and the local government in Ireland as the entire procedure of conserving and managing the historic sites becomes difficult and complex if only the central government is involved. The Minister has responsibility for formulating national policy in relation to the physical heritage and for the implementation of the National Monuments Acts. Physical planning is implemented at local government level, under the policy direction of the Minister (Packard, 2001).
In South Africa, heritage resources are managed by the levels of government closest to the community (SAHARA, 1996). The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage Management is responsible for the management of cultural heritage in Norway on the national level. At the regional level the county municipalities are responsible for the management in their county. For archaeological excavations there are five chartered archeological museums authority (Ministry of Environment, 1978).
Regarding coordination among the agencies of government, Philippines shows a good collaboration and management understanding among the agencies. The cultural agencies and other national government agencies (The Department of Tourism, the Intramural Administration, The Department of Public Works and Highways, The National Commission on Indigenous People, The UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, The Office of the special Envoy of Transnational Crimes) consult, coordinate and work closely tit the commission in the implementation of their respective programs/pro]sects (Congress of Philippines, 2009). . 4. 2 International organizations International organizations also extend their assistance to manage the entire process of conservation or undertaking any measures needed for conservation in form of technical and financial assistance. UNESCO, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation & Restoration of Cultural Properties (CICERO), The World Heritage Trust, International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works ("C) are some international organizations playing vigorous role in promoting the cultural heritages worldwide( UNESCO, n. D. ). 2. 4. Private and autonomous organizations Some private and autonomous organizations are also observed to play important role in conservation of the historical legacies. In Nepal, an organization named Ought Corporation, an autonomous organization of government of Nepal has a major role in looking after the proper protection of the private ancient monuments. In South Africa, The national system for the management of heritage resources (SAHARA) and in India, The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACT) have a vital role in raising heritage awareness among people and in taking care of the historical structures( INTACT, n. . ). 2. 4. 4 Involvement of professionals In some instances, committee is formed by multi-disciplinary team of experts to provide technical assistance in the entire procedure of conservation. In Afghanistan, a committee is formed and named the Archeological Committee consisting of two archaeologists, scientifically competent member, one historian, a lecturer from the Faculty of Social Sciences from the University of Kabul, one engineer or architect according to the Law of Protection of Historic and Cultural properties (Ministry of Justice, 2004).
For discovering the defects of cultural heritages, five-yearly inspections are undertaken before irreversible damage occurs involving specialist professional specially conservation architects (Kent, n. D). According to legislation of England, if a local planning authority does not have the full range of expertise to assess the financial Justification and the assessment of proper development, it will be necessary to involve external consultants (English Heritage, 2012). 2. 4. Public- Private Partnership Public private partnership is effective way to undertake and manage the entire procedure of conservation measures.
In Nepal, public participation is encouraged to manage and look after the conserved sites watchman (Department of Archeology, 1956). 2. 5 Financial Arrangement for Conservation Funding for the conservation of heritage sites usually comes from owners' initiatives, public funding, international donation, private associations, grants and loans. In Egypt, Together with public funds, there are international donations assisting conservation of heritage sites. Salvage of Nubian Monuments was assisted by the UNESCO in the sixties (26 million dollars) and Infertile tomb by Getty (1 million dollar) (Nashua, et al. N. D. ). There are two principal programs of aid available in Ireland. L) Tax relief program for expenditure on approved heritage buildings, gardens and objects in respect of repair, maintenance or restoration. 2) Grant aid program for the conservation of the architectural heritage which is administered through local planning authorities . This scheme was initiated in 1999 with budget of E. 9 million. Grants available under this scheme are small, within a range of E 500-10000 although grants of up to E20000 may be provided in exceptional circumstances (Packard, n. . ). In Norway, all or some of the costs are met by the State and decision regarding this funding is taken by the Minister. Where less extensive private projects are involved, all or part of the costs is met by the State, if these costs impose much burden for the initiator of the project (Ministry of Environment, 1978). In Section 77 of England's Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas act it has been mentioned State makes grants or loans for the purposes of defraying the whole or part of expenditure required for conservation works.
Other grant sources than State's grant may be available from the Heritage Lottery Fund, local authorities, heritage groups and amenity societies (Kent, n. D. ). In Nepal, renovation of the private and public monuments is done by 'Town Development Fund'. Amount may be received as donation or grant from Government or any person or organization, international organization, foreign government or entrance fee (Department of Archeology, 1956) The funding agencies which assist INTACT in India to undertake any conservation of cultural heritage sites include: Gag Khan Program, Australian High Commission,
Helen Hamlin Trust, UK,INTACT (I-J) Trust, Maharani Museum Trust, Jodhpurs, UNESCO, World Monument Watch, Unit Foundation ,Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain (MACE),Patella Heritage Society, Ministry of Tourism, Department of Archaeology, UNCUT, Shinbone Japan, University of Allahabad, Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. University of Hawaii's at Manna,Department of Cultural Heritage, Government of Kananga, Archaeological Survey of India ,Ministry of Culture, ,Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Human Resource Development, ,Ministry of Railways( INTACT, n. D. ). 2. 6 Conservation in Bangladesh The Antiquities Act, 1976 has been followed so far for the conservation of the heritage sites. The other legal provisions are Immovable Antiquities Preservation Rules 1976, The Archaeological Works Code 1938, and The Manual of Conservation of 1922(Department of Archaeology, n. . ). 2. 6. 1 Criteria and Principles Immovable antiquity has been defined in Antiquities Act as "any urban site, street, group of buildings or public square of special value which the Central Government, being of the opinion that its preservation is a matter of public interest by reason of its arrangement, architecture or materials of construction, by deification in the official Gazette, declares to be an immovable antiquity for the purposes of this Act" Criteria for Conservation (Department of Archaeology, 1968, p. ) The Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh considers enlisting a historic or archaeological edifice only if it is 100 years old as per provision in the Antiquities Act (Ancient Monuments Preservation Act of 1904). But the committee formed for enlistment of historic sites on behalf of ARRACK enlisted an edifice considering historical, architectural, political, aesthetic and cultural value even if it is not 100 ears old(The Daily Star, 2008).
The conservation practice in Bangladesh is archaeological preservation and it is based on the legislations introduced in 1922 by Sir John Marshall, the founder director General of Archaeological Survey of India (Wisped, n. D. ). Conservation, Acquisition, Penalty For the decision regarding conservation, an advisory committee is stated to take the responsibility which consists of director, two members of parliament, and three other persons having special knowledge about antiquities.
The committee would give decision about a property the owner of which cannot be traced. Section 7 of Antiquities Act demonstrates that provincial Government can acquire a land or any part of the land that contains antiquities under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894) for public purpose after getting direction from the Central Government.
Section 16 of the Act calls fir compulsory acquisition of an immovable antiquity if it is in danger of decay. A protected immovable property cannot be used for any other purpose than its preservation and administration. In Section 20 of the Act, provision for penalty for counterfeiting or damaging antiquities has been kept, but what pacific punishment would be given has not been clarified (Department of Archaeology, 1968).
Though TAR (Transfer of development Right) is very effective to persuade and encourage private owners to cooperate in government's move of conserving heritage sites, it has not been introduced in Bangladesh till 2008(The Daily star, 2008). Change and Compatibility In Dacha Metropolitan Building Rules (Impart Norman Abdominal), it has been stated for any change, development, extension or destruction of building, a written statement is needed from the authority. The authority can permit entirely or partly

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