BMRDA proposes to develop 7 tourism circuits

The Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s masterplan — BMR Revised Structure Plan 2013 has proposed seven tourism circuits to be developed in terms of connectivity, infrastructure and tourist-essential amenities. Among the standout points, the structure plan has also come up with comprehensive heritage guidelines along with listing of the structures/monuments.

The BMR Structure Plan 2011 was prepared in 1998 but got approval in 2005. Subsequently, work on the development plan for the next 20 years began in 2012 and covered 8,005 sq kms in three districts — Bangalore urban, Bangalore rural and Ramanagaram.

Low tourist potential
The BMR doesn’t have many tourist destinations barring Nandi Hills, Bannerghatta National Park and Shivaganga hills. As per a survey conducted y the Union tourism ministry, the Bengaluru-Mysuru stretch is one of the most visited destinations in the country by international guests. In its structure plan, the BMRDA has proposed linking various tourism destinations and identified seven new circuits.

Also, the BMR Structure Plan 2011 did not consider heritage as a separate sector, but it provided for a policy for heritage conservation under the environmentally sensitive areas section. In the implementation modalities part, elements of heritage and cultural value at a regional scale were not addressed. A review of the protected monuments in the state identified very few structures which have been declared protected by the two authorities, ASI and the state archeological department. Most of these structures are cultural sites — there are 32 monuments which are declared as protected in this region.

Boost for heritage
However, the structure plan 2031 has given impetus to identification and listing of heritage — the entire heritage, cultural and intangible heritage in the region be identified through the process of listing format as followed by INTACH. This could form the basis and in case of crafts, the process including the resources involved will have to be identified.

… and nature too
In addition, areas of natural heritage will be earmarked as protected areas. For instance, Devanahalli settlement within the fort; On the other side, Shivaganga, a religious town, may be declared a conservation area with recognition of the living heritage such as rituals and processions as part of the cultural landscape. Grading of heritage buildings based on their significance will also be done.

Challenges for heritage conservation

* Heritage not protected by the two archeological authorities is vulnerable

* Most of the heritage sites are under threat and as the areas of significance or buildings have not been identified

* Impact of unregulated development is resulting in loss of character, as well as loss of applicability

* Unchecked growth in cultural places is also resulting in loss of character. This provides an opportunity to provide guidelines for conservation, preservation and promotion of unique heritage customs and traditions

* Impact of quarrying on natural heritage a major factor
New circuits linking the major destination points and the secondary destinations such as Savandurga, Pearl Valley, Hesarghatta and Shivaganga are proposed and the circuits identified as:

Bengaluru-Devanahalli Fort-Nandi Hills.

* Ramanagaram-Kanakapura-Mekedaatu.

* Ramanagaram-Saavandurga-Magadi-Shivaganga.

To connect the places outside BMR, new circuits identified as:

Bengaluru-Ramanagaram-Channapatna-Ranganathittu Srirangapatna-Mysuru.

Bengaluru zone-Chitradurga.

* Ramanagaram-Magadi-Saavandurga-Hassan.

Bengaluru-Shivarapatna-Kolar-Tirupati.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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