Parsi Community Recognized by UNESCO, but not Mumbai, for Preservation Efforts

Posted on September 4, 2012


UNESCO has formally recognized a Parsi community for their choice to restore and preserve historic enclaves.

Architect Vikas Dilawari, under the guidance and advice of the Garib Zathostiyona Regethan Fund, restored the Sethna Buildings, which consists of five buildings that house many of the poorer Parsi families in the area. Restoring the Sethna Buildings not only preserved the historic nature of the enclave, but also avoided a huge raise in property taxes that would have occurred had it been rebuilt. This allowed the tenants to continue to be able to afford the housing.

UNESCO has made this award despite the fact that Mumbai does not even recognize the district in its own heritage list.

The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee is now offering incentives to restore historic buildings as opposed to rebuilding them. This will undoubtedly preface a conservation movement for historically relevnt buildings in Mumbai.