Mysore Tobacco Co's Richmond colonial office building, Bengaluru needs urgent conservation. Will officials take action?

MTC. building on Richmond st.

MTC. building on Richmond st. Bengaluru.

The Mysore Tobacco Company Limited, a State Govt company was  incorporated on 18 Apr, 1937. It was a public unlisted company and classified as 'company limited by shares'. For many reasons, the state government company  was folded up in 1983. The company was involved in procurement of tobacco from farmers after the crop was introduced in Mysore, Hassan, and Shimoga.  However presently, it is in community, personal & Social Services business from last 86 years and currently, company operations are active. Its  last annual general meet (AGM)  took place on 26 Sep, 2017 and its auditing was done last  on 31 Mar, 2017 as per Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

MTC. building on Richmond st. Bengaluru.

MTC. building on Richmond st. Bengaluru.

The crux of the matter is with the govt. company having been closed long ago , the company  office buildings   on  Richmond Road and Whitefield  along with the land they have occupied  are not being used and consequently the heritage structures  have fallen into disrepair and are rotting with no repair in the near future. Many historic buildings in Bengaluru have similar story and the officials don't care a fig to preserve the history and pass it on to the next generation.   .

Way back in 2014 itself serious steps were taken to get a heritage tag for the Richmond Road space and office building as per the Board Meeting. On November 5,  2018 the senior officials of the   Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd at the board meeting took a decision to look into the matter.   

Unfortunately, there has been no semblance of any repair work undertaken in the recent past. Neither the state government nor the Agricultural department in charge of this site has taken any step to preserve the site, let alone getting  heritage tag for the building. On account of persistent official declay and carelessness, historians and heritage lover are concerned about the stability of the building which has wilted this far without any basic repair so far.  

At stake is the  beautiful one-acre Gothic heritage building, along with  grounds  that show  signs of  crumbling. Some sort of conservation and repairs have to be taken up to preserve the site whose heritage value the government of Karnataka ca not ignore.The possible advantage the government has is, using the latest conservation techniques, the building can be restored and reused by them.   Adaptive reuse after restoration has many benefits and it may house an arts museum, heritage and culture center, tourism department, etc. The dual advantage is the heritage building can be saved for the posterity and the government can avoid laborious process of reconstruction all over with proper planning and financial backing. The latter two are extra burden and drain on the state treasury.   The11 acres of prime MTC property in Whitefield, Richmond Road Bengaluru are worth a fortune - more than Rs. 500 crores on the present market.