Devaraja Market building in Mysuru - recent Court ruling in favor of MCC; appeal to be made against demolition

137-year-old Devaraja Market building

The legal battle between heritage lovers and historians on one hand and the MCC- Mysuru City Corporation has been going on for a long time over the proposed demolition of the  classified heritage site the dilapidated 137-year-old Davaraja Market building, a landmark structure in the prime area of Mysore city built by the then Maharajah of Mysore. The victim of this unending legal wrangle is the old structure itself which becomes structurally weak  over a long period on account of this prolonged legal battle.  Already battered by negligence by the officials, with parts of the structure  having been fallen in the past, question arises whether this heritage site will survive yet another volley of criticisms and legal action by the petitioners. 

Devaraja Market in Mysuru,

 Above image: The 135-year-old Devaraja Market on Sayyaji Rao Road built in the 1890s is a busy place and is a symbol of Mysore Royalty and culture of this city.  The history of the market goes back to  the 24th Maharajah, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Built in indo-saracenic architecture, the complex has 800 to 900 shops. The municipal corporation has considered the building unsafe.............. 

The recent ruling by  the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday (7th Aug. 2023) dismissing  a PIL petition which had questioned the Mysuru City Corporation's (MCC) decision to demolish the old Davaraja Market building and construct a new building in its place has saddened the heritage lovers . Further appeal may be on the anvil by The Devaraja Market Tenants Association which is not happy with the High Court’s (HC) verdict.  “The verdict contradicts public sentiment and goes against our aim of preserving Mysuru’s traditions by safeguarding the Market’s traditional style. However, despite this outcome, our fight will continue. We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court, according to Raja Chandra, a petitioner and a member of erstwhile Mysore royal family.

 In the past, ‘Save Heritage Buildings’ protest rally from Devaraja Market premises to DC’s office in the morning 9 am was held led by none other than  scion of erstwhile royal family of Mysuru Yaduveer  Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at the  request of traders at Devaraja Market and Lansdowne building in the city. About 1000 shopkeepers and their dependents took part in the rally to save the building that was wrongly considered structurally weak in 2005 itself, but still it is strong. A section of collapse of the building twice in the past was primarily due to official negligence and careless attitude of the officials. 

If the litigation is about monuments they will be  wilting through time due to delay and in the case of individual properties, etc., the litigants have to put up with anxiety and pangs of pain, notwithstanding mounting legal fees till the see the light at the end of the tunnel..

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