Signage guidelines for Ekamra Kshetra for a beautiful view of Old Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The cluttered signage in the heritage district of Old Town area, earlier known as the Ekamra Kshetra, will soon be revived with the draft Heritage Signage Guidelines for Ekamra Kshetra, Bhubaneswar, getting the nod from the 136th Authority Meting of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). The guidelines will be submitted to the State Government for its approval.

The Building Signs, for example, under the Heritage Signage Guidelines have called for declaring the Old City area a “no hoarding zone’’. All hoarding and signage, which would destroy or damage the architectural character of the building, shall be removed. The signage of individual shops needs to be consistent to the maximum possible extent in the streetscape.

The Building Signs (both residential and commercial) shall not be painted on the original face of the laterite wall, brick wall, sandstone, terracotta and tiling of any other surface that is built with traditional knowledge and technology.

Within a heritage precinct the signage of individual shops needs to coincide with the existing historic facade and not pose damage to the original architectural signature and flow of the precinct.

The guidelines, besides the Building Signs, cover all types, i.e. directional, locational, interpretation, location map, facility and emergency signage, shop and advertisement signage to provide an uncluttered environment of the heritage zone, which is the pride of the heritage city.

The purpose of the signage guidelines is to assist in the development of signs to ensure that any new signage would respect the integrity of the building as well as the age and general character of the entire heritage district. The colour, text, font, material and scale of all signs should be historically sensitive to the structure and the distinctiveness of the Old Town area.

The heritage signage guidelines will be part of the Zonal Development Plan of the area concerned and there would be control measures by the development authority in the Old City area.

As per the guidelines, where a number of tenancies occupy the same building or roe of properties, the signage is to be consistent in regards to shape, background colour, size, fixing methods and lighting.

Consistency in placement of signs between neighbouring buildings which have a common architectural style, whether traditional or contemporary is encouraged.

Any new signage needs prior authorisation of the authority. In case of ATMs, the name and logo of the bank concerned would be written inside the interior surface of the glazed area for recognition by visitors. The signboard above the ATM would follow the design criteria as prescribed for all other shops.

If any organisation or individual would be found to violate the provisions, the violation shall be punishable as unauthorised development. In case of proven deliberate neglect of the heritage building or precinct or any damaged caused to the structure or it is destroyed due to neglect, in addition to penal action proposed by BDA, no development permission to construct any new building shall be granted on the site.

The design criteria would follow appropriate fonts, line spacing, layout/paragraph style, letter height, latter case and arrows and symbols used. The principles behind the signage, on the other hand, would focus on scale, placement, safety, clutter, context, material, colour and workmanship.

Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has initiated the process to install a set of 521 route signage in Old Town area that incorporates the Kalingan style of temple architecture. The information on the signage will be in Odia, Hindi and English and would cost the state administration Rs 2.75 crore.

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