Heritage, a Concern

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 19 2018 11:49PM | Updated Date: Nov 19 2018 11:49PM
Heritage, a Concern

Another heritage site, witness to an era, is crumbling. To know the story of a nation, understand its people and identity, conservation of heritage is essential. It connects future generation with the past and enables them to analyze the culture of their land that provides them with a sense of identity. It is a valuable tool that helps in developing a city into an important tourist destination.

Many important cities in the world that are treasure chests of well-conserved heritage sites, of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic civilizations, are the most prominent tourist destinations that immensely contributed to the economy of these countries. Sadly, people in our state are yet to realize the importance of preserving and protecting the heritage. Even the best preserved, till the recent past, are being vandalized with impunity. The iconic Sher Garhi Palace, on the banks of the river Jhelum, built in eighteen century by an Afghan governor, now popularly known as the Old Secretariat, has been a seat of power for past three century.

A unique blending of English and Kashmir architecture, the palace and the complex on the riverfront of river Jhelum, despite being declared a heritage in 1977, is in ruins today. The entire complex that houses some important government departments has been converted into a junkyard. Despite, the old secretariat not being affected by the 2014 floods, the administration has transformed it into dumping ground for broken furniture, destroyed official material and condemned files.

This oldest seat of power in the state, in spite of being under the gaze of the top-notch bureaucracy, has turned into the biggest garbage pit, just a distance of few hundred meters from the State Legislature, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and the civil secretariat. For our indifference, we have lost many a valuable heritage site in the old city, including the great wall of Kashmir around the fort; we should not lose this site also.

 

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