The Bold Voice of J&K

Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex victim of official ‘apathy’

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Dear Editor,
Despite a time period of nine long years, the ambitious project of renovating Heritage Mubarak Mandi Complex is still ‘hanging in balance’, an apparent victim of official ‘apathy’. It is sad that on one hand State Government claims that it is leaving no stone unturned to promote tourism in Jammu and on the other hand this rich cultural heritage that has a potential to attract tourists is neglected.
A number of palaces in Jammu have already collapsed or are in an advanced stage of decay as no steps have so far been taken to preserve them. These edifices have the potential of being preserved as living monuments to attract tourists who pass through the town while on their way to the Vaishno Devi Shrine or Kashmir Valley.
But with faulty planning and red tapism, it seems as if the much hyped Mubarak Mandi Palace renovation will not see light of the day and the heritage palace will become a part of the history very soon.
The renovation work on the 187 year old building undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not moved an inch over the past one year due to paucity of funds. It is worth mentioning here that the renovation work was started in 2008 when the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister of the State.
The complex these days is only serving as a free parking space. One can find a sign board on which is written- ‘Building Unsafe Do Not Come Near’ and it is here for the last eight years. This clearly shows what work has been done to preserve the building. The question here arises what are the agencies waiting for? When they know that the building is unsafe why no action is being taken to preserve it? Just to place a sign board is not enough. Is this the only duty of the so called concerned authorities working to preserve this heritage?
Through your esteemed daily I would like to say that it is high time that the concerned authorities, NGOs and most importantly the public should become aware and come forward to save this precious cultural heritage of Dogra rulers otherwise shortly time will come when it will become a history confined to books and papers.
Suhail Sharma,
Greater Kailash.

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