Over 120 eminent personalities have approached Lt Governor Manoj Sinha over the slow pace of work on the Mubarak Mandi palace in Jammu and a proposal to move some government offices into Shergarhi complex in Srinagar.
People from both the regions have joined hands to approach the government for the preservation of the two protected monuments in Jammu and Srinagar, said M Saleem Beg, a former Director-General Tourism (J&K) and the chairman of the National Monuments Authority.
In a petition to the Lt Governor, 122 personalities, including former Intac chairman H S K Misra, former deputy chairman legislative council M Y Taing and Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Amitabh Mattoo, said it is the duty and constitutional responsibility of the administration to promote and protect the heritage of J&K. The petition said while rapid urbanisation and lack of concern towards the cultural assets have resulted in vandalisation and loss of many significant landmarks, some of those that still exist include the Mubarak Mandi, Jammu, and Shergarhi Palace in Srinagar.
Keeping in view their historic and cultural value and on the persistent demand of the elected representatives and the civil society, the then state government had notified these complexes as State Protected Monuments under the J&K Ancient Monuments Preservation Act of 1920 amended in 2010.
In the case of Mubarak Mandi, the petition said the declaration was issued on April 26, 2005, and subsequently, the complex was put under the charge of a separate agency, Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society.
"This society initiated the restoration of some of the buildings through the Archaeological Survey of India and other agencies. However, the work on other remaining buildings has not picked up at the desired pace," it said.
"The restoration and reuse plan, already taken up at the monument, needs to be implemented without any further delay," the petition demanded.
It said Shergahi complex was declared a State Protected Monument on July 6, 2017.