Only Rs 21 cr released against project cost of Rs 298 cr in nearly 10 years

Governing body meets only once in last 2 yrs

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Nov 3: Notwith-standing tall claims of successive Governments including the present PDP-BJP coalition, the restoration of historic Mubarak Mandi Complex has remained least priority for all the concerned agencies despite the fact that the grandeur of Dogra dynasty is crumbling with every passing year due to vagaries of weather.
This is evident from the release of meager funds for restoration work and their utilization during the past nearly 10 years and failure of the Government to convene regular meetings of the Governing Body of Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society.
As per the information furnished in response to an application filed under Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, the estimated cost of project of renovation of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex is about Rs 298.86 crore.
During the past nearly 10 years an amount of Rs 21.26 crore was released for the renovation work under different heads. An amount of Rs 4.37 crore was released under Tourist Destination Scheme, Rs 8.51 crore under 13th Finance Commission, Rs 3.38 crore under Mega Tourism Project and Rs 5 crore under Capex Budget as additionality.
However, of Rs 21.26 crore only an amount of Rs 13.51 crore was released to the project executing agency-Archeological Survey of India and DDT (M&W) during the past 10 years.
Out of Rs 13.51 crore, an amount of Rs 1 crore was released to executing agency in the year 2008-09.  Similarly, in 2009-10 an amount of Rs 2 crore was released to ASI while as the funds released in 2010-11 were reduced to merely Rs 52 lakh. In 2013-14, an amount of Rs 1.17 crore was released—Rs 1 crore to ASI and Rs 17 lakh to DDT (M&W). An amount of Rs 7.82 crore was released to ASI and DDT (M&W) in 2014-15 and Rs 1 crore to ASI in 2017-18.
In the reply furnished to the RTI activist Raman Sharma, it has been mentioned that no date has been fixed for completion of the project. This indicates that the Government doesn’t want to ensure restoration of historic complex in a time bound manner.
The level of non-seriousness of the Government can be further gauged from the fact that during the last two years Governing Body of the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society has met only once. The last meeting was convened on August 29, 2016. Interestingly, Chief Minister is the Chairperson of the Governing Body.
“The monitoring committee comprising Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Executive Director of the Society and Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums is inspecting the restoration work on regular basis but no recommendation has been made vis-à-vis pace and quality of work”, reads the RTI reply.
“All this indicates that restoration of Mubarak Mandi complex is least priority for the Government and no serious efforts are being made to expedite the pace of work on the prestigious project”, sources remarked.