Nov 10, 2011

Conservation Projects: From Liability to Asset

By : Anoop Jha

Architectural conservation has traditionally been considered as public or state responsibility and very few private entities are interested in taking up such projects, though state like Orissa is having Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model for conservation projects. A country with rich history and centuries of traditions like India has also rich Architectural assets which are often neglected and difficult to conserve due to its sheer abundance, Though national and international agencies like “Archeological Survey of India (ASI), UNESCO, etc. are taking active measures to conserve the heritage of India, but it seems that it’s time that private entities and investors should come forward to conserve the architectural heritage of Nation. I think it can prove to be quite a lucrative option for private investors if government acts as a facilitator and if some relaxation is given in heritage conservation planning process along with some incentives. It would prove to be a win-win situation for both public and private entities.
This is how it will work. Architectural conservation projects have few elements in common –
      TECHNIQUES – its technical aspects of conservations projects, there are technical guidelines, policy norms, etc. it’s simply art of engineering.
      HERITAGE VALUE – every historic architectural asset has a heritage value attached to it, and if methodically and convincingly approached by private agencies, government or public agency will certainly come forward to facilitate the conservation project of any nature, because conserved and maintained heritage is an asset for any state, which they often fail to take care of because of other pressing welfare responsibilities and limited financial resources.
      EMOTIONAL VALUE – It has high perceived emotional value for, a Nation, a State, a certain group, or certain individuals, this high emotional value can be translated into monetary value with certain effort and proper strategy
  UTILITARIAN VALUE – This is the most important aspect of any conservation project because this is what makes it as a commercial viable project, to make this model viable government will need to act as a facilitator and will have to draft special policy considering the special and sensitive status of such projects, policy also have to incorporate privet participation and related relaxation in terms of some norms and subsidies etc. to attract the investment from private investors.

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