Nyo Ko Naing from Katha Heritage Conservation Association told Mizzima that they would like to conserve homes in their city described in George Orwell’s famous novel ‘Burmese Days’ in their original designs.
Katha is a tourist attraction because of the novel. Tourists come and see the historical town because all the houses and places described in ‘Burmese Days’ are in Katha.
“The town in Burmese Days is our Katha. All the places and houses in this novel are still intact in our town. The houses, streets and places in the novel are still here. Tourists are interested in this town as an old town. In our ‘Town Plan’ submitted to authorities, we proposed conserving all these places, streets and houses in original designs. The tourists from around the world are interested in this old town. The money earned from tourism will be beneficial to the country and also to local people. So, we proposed conserving them in original designs,” Nyo Ko Naing said.
Currently, road signs and maps showing tourist attraction sites have been erected for the convenience of the tourists visiting Katha. George Orwell’s house and Deputy Commissioner Bernard Houston’s house are opened as museums in the town.
Nyo Ko Naing and his association are worried about building new structures on the premises of century-old historic buildings and they reportedly presented their anxiety to the Sagaing Region Chief Minister.
Sagaing Region government CM told them heritage buildings and the heritage airstrip in Katha would be restored to original designs in their new town plan.
There are at least one dozen heritage buildings and two dozen historical sites and places in Katha.