JAMMU, July 31: An appeal by 110 prominent citizens and civil society members of Jammu has urged J&K LG, Manoj Sinha to intervene and save the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex from being leased out to private parties for conversion into commercial hotel.
This was informed by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak, former Vice Chairman of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society and president, Dogra Sadar Sabha in a press conference here today.
The prominent citizens termed the move as an attempt to trample the emotions and sentiments of valiant and nationalistic Dogras for a short term financial gain.
Charak claimed that in appeal to the LG these citizens stated that the complex was a protected monument under J&K Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, Svt.1977, which does not permit its use as a commercial hotel.
He also stated that the move may also affect the surviving evidence of ancient Indian culture in J&K.
“The proposed move, if implemented, shall devastate the multiple components of Jammu’s tourism industry by affecting tourist footfall that would otherwise accrue, on Jammu’s emergence on the world cultural tourism map by showcasing and promoting the complex as a premier cultural tourism destination, as envisaged in the comprehensive conservation and reuse plan,” Charak said.
He further said that during a visit to the heritage complex a team of Dogra Sadar Sabha found priceless Dogra heritage being treated with total apathy and the rare and precious artefacts of Dogra Art Museum, including its collection of paintings worth crores of rupees, were continuing to deteriorate due to dust, seepage, fungus etc.
“Similarly, the rare and fragile 300 years old records of archives were also in danger of being further damaged due to excessive moisture and dampness, as no proper protection of the windows and ventilators was done to prevent water from seeping into the halls during heavy rains and the roof of the hall where the archive records was kept was leaking,” he maintained.
He also appealed Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO to intervene.