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Annual Report on the activities for the year 2002-2003
 
AGM 2006
Annual Reports

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1. St. Peters' Church Restoration
Drilling through the wall to collect the building material sample under the guidance of Sri Srinivas Raju [extreme left] Co-convener Srinivas Murthy explaining the soil investigation process to Sri Roberts, in-charge of the church.
Drilling through the wall to collect the building material sample under the guidance of Sri Srinivas Raju [extreme left] Co-convener Srinivas Murthy explaining the soil investigation process to Sri Roberts, in-charge of the church.

In the second phase of restoration of St. Peters' Church [1864] has been taken up by INTACH Visakhapatnam Chapter with the financial support from Department of Tourism, Govt. of AP. 

The church building has developed many cracks starting from the very centre of the gothic arches, due the settlement in the soil strata around the church. One of the life-member of Visakhapatnam Chapter Mr. Srinivas Raju, has taken up the responsibility to carry out the preliminary soil and building structural investigation and prepare technical document for the restoration of the church.

The estimates for the restoration of the church is around Rs. 7.0 Lakhs for structural repairs; and Rs. 4.50 Lakhs for other repairs, painting, flooring and landscaping. 


2. Gali Meda: the Round Building Restoration

The Round Building of Bheemunipatnam popularly known as the 'Gali Meda' meaning Tower of Air, ones was the famous symbol of the rich architectural heritage of Bheemunipatnam, which was inhabitatted by the Dutch around two hundred years ago before the English took over the control over this part of the country. Bheemunipatnam is known as the second municipality [and the first in south India] formed in the country after Surat in Gujarat. 

This Round Building was part of the Dutch Governors Bungalow, from where a constant vigil was kept on the sea for favourable weather, approaching ships and to watch for enemy movements. This building of 24 feet diameter was demolished few years ago by its present owners.

The round building, this image is taken from a movie as mentioned in the report The building just before its complete demolition
The round building, this image is taken from a movie as mentioned in the report The building just before its complete demolition

A detailed research and documentation exercise was taken up the co-convener and architect Srinivas Murthy to trace the complete history, owners, pictures and drawings related to the building, including still from a very old film named 'Maro Charitra' in which this building was featured. Mrs. Chandana Khan, IAS, Principle Secretary, Department of Tourism, Govt. of AP; has approved INTACH's proposal for its restoration and has sanction Rs. 6.50 Lakhs for the project. The project will be taken up very shortly after the issues related to ownership, are sorted out by the government.


3. Bhimli Cemetery Maintenance support by INTACH
Sunil Sharma, IAS,[left] Convener INTACH-Visakhapatnam presenting the cheque to Sri Roberts

Sunil Sharma, IAS,[left] Convener INTACH-Visakhapatnam presenting the cheque to Sri Roberts


INTACH Visakhapatnam chapter supported the initiatives of Mr. SS Roberts to discover, document and maintain a Dutch Cemetery in Bheemunipatnam. The Convener and District Collector Sri Sunil Sharma, IAS presented the first cheque for Rs. 300/- towards monthly allowance to Sri Roberts at a simple function organized at the St. Peters' Church in Bheemunipatnam.


4. Municipal Choultry Restoration

The restoration project of Bhimli Municipal Choultry [1900] [choultry means a night shelter or dharmashala] was taken up by INTACH Visakhapatnam under the first phase of restoration projects funded by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of AP. 

Bhimlipatnm Municipal Choultry before restoration Building under restoration
Bheemunipatnam Municipal Choultry before restoration Building under restoration
An exhibition Gallery, Tourism Information Centre and a coffee shop is proposed in this restored building. This project is near completion and scheduled for opening on 27th September on the occasion of World Tourism Day.


5. Documentation of Bhimli: a self initiative
The heritage town of Bheemunipatnam, which was established by the Dutch, is situated on the confluence of river Gosthani and the Bay of Bengal. The Dutch used this town as one of their major ports in India. INTACH Visakhapatnam has taken up many restoration projects in this town. In the process, the whole town has been physically measured and documented. Details such sloping roof, slab roof, houses with traditional elevations and plans, important events and issues all have been documented. The survey has been taken up totally at the initiative and funding by the co-convener and is now being mapped on Auto-CAD software.

6. Traditional Houses of Bhimli: an exhibition and walk
Ten houses with typical traditional architecture have been identified in Bheemunipatnam and a detailed architectural documentation has been made. An exhibition of the same has been planned which will be designed by Srinivas Murthy. This exhibition will be at display in the restored Choultry Building in Bhimli which will also serve as an information centre for the visitors. 

With the involvement of the owners of the traditional houses, a heritage walk is planned every 2nd Saturday of the month for the general public and visiting tourist. INTACH has taken the initiative to train some guides who will be employed by the Department of Tourism under self help scheme.

7. Heritage Walk at Vizianagaram
On the occasion of World Heritage Day 2003, first heritage walk of Vizianagaram was conducted in the morning of 18th April. The walk was a huge success with many prominent personalities participating in it. Member of Parliament Sri B. Satyanarayana along with the district Collector Sri Rajat Kuamr lead the walk through the narrow streets of Old Vizianagaram. The Walk started from the Music College and covered the fort, many heritage buildings of town and the famous clock tower. Srinivas Murthy-Co-convener INTACH Visakhapatnam Chapter lead the walk all through with detailed commentary on the heritage architecture of the town and its buildings.


8. Heritage Walk on Pavurala Konda [the Pigeon Hill]

A heritage walk was conducted by the local chapter on top of a hill in Bheemunipatnam which is located 25Kms north of Visakhapatnam. Buddhist shrines and monuments and some bungalows belonging the DUTCH were discovered on this hill. INTACH conducted the walk along with the State Archeological Department.

Archealogical Expert explaining to the District Collector [in blue shirt]; watched by Chiarman VUDA Sri Rehman [in white cap], Srinivas Murthy Co-convener [in blue cap] and others.theBuddhist remain under excavation [in the foreground] and  the Dutch bunglows are seen in the background.

Archealogical Expert explaining to the District Collector [in blue shirt]; watched by Chairman VUDA Sri Rehman [in white cap], Srinivas Murthy Co-convener [in blue cap] and others. the Buddhist remain under excavation [in the foreground] and the Dutch bungalows are seen in the background.

 District Collector and Convener INTACH, Sri Sunil Sharma participated in this walk along with the Chairman VUDA Sri A Rehman and Bheemunipatnam MLA Sri Raju. Many members of INTACH and tourism officials and general public participated in the walk.

 
9. Listing of Heritage Buildings of Vizianagaram district

Listing of heritage buildings of Vizianagaram district has been successfully completed and now is being formatted for publication. The listing was carried out by a team comprising of Srinivas Murthy- Co-convener, life members Sri Prasad and PRB Rao and two students of architecture from Andhra University. Funding to the team was provided by District Tourism Promotion Council of Vizianagaram. A copy of same document will be sent to the INTACH head quarters at Delhi soon after its completion.


10. Publication of Heritage Building Document

It is proposed and approved by the District Tourism Promotion Council to publish the listing of heritage buildings of Vizianagaram as a coffee table book. It is proposed that the same may be released by the honourable CM of AP on the occasion of Vizianagaram Utsav in the month of October. The design of the book is already underway, which will be compiled and edited by Srinivas Murthy of INTACH Visakhapatnam Chapter. This book will also have essays on important aspect of the regional cultural and architectural heritage, by many prominent personalities of the region. This book is planned in similar line to that of the Chennai listing publication.


11. WHD at Vizianagaram
At the initiative of INTACH Visakhapatnam Chapter, World Heritage day was celebrated at Vizianagaram on 18th April 2003. Sri Rajat Kumar, IAS, District Collector and Convener INTACH Vizianagaram chapter took active participation in the celebration, which was marked by a very successful heritage walk, earlier in the morning. 

Srinivas Murthy-Co-convener, Visakhapatnam Chapter made a detailed presentation on the listing of heritage buildings and importance of their maintenance and restoration. Visakhapatnam Chapter is extending all its support to this neighbouring chapter till the chapter is able to start functioning on its own after the ongoing membership drive launched by the collector.


12. World Heritage Day at Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam MP Sri MVVS Murthy speaking on the occasion of WHD2003 The Kurupam Rani Mounument
Visakhapatnam MP Sri MVVS Murthy speaking on the occasion of WHD2003 The Kurupam Rani Monument

World Heritage day was celebrated at Visakhapatnam on 18th April 2003 in the evening at the famous Kurupam Rani Monument, popularly known as the Taj Mahal of Visakhapatnam.

On this occasion the Kurupam Rani Monument was dedicated to the people of Visakhapatnam, by the present MP Sri MVVS Murthy. The restoration project was taken up the Conservation Centre ; Bhubaneshwar under the guidance of Sri Anupam Sah. The restoration project was funded by the Department of Tourism Govt. of AP.
On this occasion Convener and District Collector Sri Sunil Sharma welcomed all the dignitaries, invitees, INTACH members. The dignitaries included Sri D. Srinivasulu, IAS-Vice Chairman, VUDA; Sri Navin Mittal, IAS-Commissioner-Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. An exhibition of local chapters' works was also put up at the venue.


13. Completion of Kurupam Monument

Restoration of the Kurupam Rani Monument was completed under phase one as per the scheduled agreement between the District Tourism Promotion Council and INTACH's Conservation Centre at Bhubaneswar. Mr. Anupam Sah took up the project with local assistance provided by the Visakhapatnam Chapter.

Two skilled artisans working on the Kurupam Rani Monument Detail of a intricately carved stone panel
Two skilled artisans working on the Kurupam Rani Monument Detail of a intricately carved stone panel

 
The estimated cost of the project was Rs. 11.0 Lakhs and the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the all concerned. The second phase of further repairs and restoration and beautification will be taken up soon as soon as the fund are made available.

 
14. Master Plan intervention: Heritage Corridor
INTACH Visakhapatnam Chapter is being consulted on a regular basis for the reparation of Revised Master Plan for the city of Visakhapatnam. Consulting Engineering Services is the consultant body for VUDA; which is preparing the master Plan and its representatives have been regularly taking the advise of Srinivas Murthy-Co-convener and architect in the issues related to heritage structures. Co-Convener INTACH has been nominated as a member of the Master Plan Consultative Body, which is a very positive step considering the importance of the issues involved. INTACH proposal to create a separate Heritage Corridor has received very favourable and positive response from this planning body.