Signposts for name’s sake BMC move to help identify monuments
A senior BMC official said that ultimately around 300 signposts would be erected across the city. Fifty of these will be in front of historic monuments in Old Town. Though the city has 320 small and big monuments (both protected and unprotected), only 50 major ones will have these signposts.
Sources in the state government said the city management group (CMG), the apex body looking after problems related to city development, has asked the BMC, the BDA and the public works department to start the pilot project of erecting signposts near all public buildings.
“We have put up some signposts on Sachivalaya Marg near the Assembly and secretariat, but there will be some changes in the design and structure. Once the CMG approves the standard design and size, signposts will be put up along the PWD roads. The present signposts put up by PWD are purely on an experimental basis,” said C.P. Gantayat, executive engineer, division IV of PWD.
Bijay Kumar Rath, former superintending archaeologist of Odisha, said the erection of signage near monuments and buildings was a great way to provide information. “But signposts carrying just the name of the historical monuments are not enough. Information on civic amenities nearby and the nearest transport facility should also be present. For the naming of archaeologically important sites, local historians should be consulted,” he said.
Welcoming the efforts of the government agencies to beautify monuments and offices through signage, urban management practitioner Piyush Ranjan Rout said tourists should be allowed to stand in front of beautiful, but important buildings such as the secretariat and Assembly to take pictures. “In Bhuban-eswar, nobody is allowed to stand before the secretariat or Assembly. Security personnel here have a strange habit of driving away tourists from major official buildings. It is a sheer violation of the citizens’ rights. States like Karnataka not only allow people to take snaps in front of government buildings, they are also allowed to spend time in front of them. The authorities should look into this,” said Rout.
Apart from this, the BMC is also carrying out special cleaning services for selected monuments in collaboration with the culture department.
On World Heritage Day on April 18 last year, the BMC had launched a special sanitation programme for 10 select monuments — Rajarani, Mukteswar, Parasurameswar, Swarnajaleswar, Kotitirtheswar, Ananta Basudev, Papanasini, Vaital temples and Ekamra Vana in Old Town.
The BMC sanitation squads have set up extra dustbins at these places, and the cleaning staff make sure that the monuments are litter-free.