A two-day workshop with French experts focusses on Pondicherry’s heritage sites and restoration
Architect A Arul believes there are 16 buildings in Pondicherry that need immediate attention. A volunteer at INTACH (an NGO), he tells us that the deserted lighthouse and the quaint police headquarters are some of the buildings that were discussed at the two-day workshop, Smart Heritage and Urban Renovation through Waterfront Management that took place in the French Town. A project that deals with renovation and heritage preservation in Pondicherry, it also took into account the best practices from other parts of India and France.
The workshop was a dialogue between French experts (Alfred Peter, a landscape architect, Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, an urban planner, Franck Boutte, an architect and engineer, and Michele Larue-Charlus, an executive director for urban planning, City Council of Bordeaux) and their Indian counterparts.
The experts discussed the existing heritage and infrastructure, and touched upon subjects like the city’s seafront management related issues, the canal running through Pondicherry town, the fishermen’s port, the estuary and the lagoon, open drainage system and heritage buildings in both the Tamil and French quarters. Similair to the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, held a few months ago, the workshop, organised by the Department of Tourism along with other organisations (like INTACH, PondyCAN, IIT Madras and Pondicherry Engineering College), focussed on citizen involvement. The experts plan to travel to Delhi today, where they will have a round table conference based on their findings
— Mrinalini Sundar