Promotion of traditional, cultural festivals of J&K
DCs yet to furnish details for restoration of historic monuments
JAMMU, Dec 16: Uncertainty is prevailing over full utilization of huge funds released for the implementation of Scheme for Promotion of Traditional and Cultural Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir as majority of the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir valley have yet not submitted the Action Plans while as those forwarded by the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu division awaits approval and only three months have left for the completion of current financial year.
The Scheme for Promotion of Traditional and Cultural Festivals was approved by the Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a meeting held in the month of July this year in order to preserve and promote such festivals, which are part of composite culture, in consultation with respective divisional and district administration and all the stakeholders.
Accordingly, huge funds were released for the implementation of scheme and committees were constituted for coordinating and preparing Action Plans and seeking funds for execution from the Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums.
It was explicitly mentioned in the order that for formulation of Action Plans and their execution, the District Development Commissioners, Government agencies and Boards, Trusts and local committees managing the affairs of sacred/historic places will be involved.
However, reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that no major headway has been made for the implementation of the scheme at the ground level.
“The Deputy Commissioners of Jammu Division have recently submitted the Action Plans to the Directorate that too after the Divisional Level Committee found the details earlier furnished by the Deputy Commissioners as incomplete on certain important aspects”, sources informed, adding “as far as Kashmir valley is concerned, majority of the Deputy Commissioners have yet not come up with the respective Action Plan”.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the Action Plans the Deputy Commissioners are supposed to highlight the importance of each traditional and cultural festival along with the photographs of the same for the clear understanding of the Divisional Level Committees.
“As Action Plans are yet to be submitted and approved the implementation of scheme could not begin till date and due to this there is uncertainty over the utilization of huge funds released for the scheme during the current financial year”, sources said, adding “after the approval of the Action Plans by the Divisional Level Committees the same will be submitted to the Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums and thereafter Administrative Department will take a call”
They further said, “as only three months have left for the completion of current financial year and majority of the formalities are yet to be completed how the implementation of scheme will begin before March 2021 remains a million dollar question”.
Even majority of the Deputy Commissioners have yet not submitted the revised list of religious places and historical monuments which need restoration along with short description of place, significance and photographs, which is imperative for implementation of Scheme for Revival, Restoration, Preservation and Maintenance of Architecture and Heritage approved by the Administrative Council in the month of July this year.
In Jammu and Kashmir, each religious and historic monument is embodiment of a unique/mystical saga that takes them beyond the level of just mere architecture or a combination of bricks and walls to the spiritual and inner enlightenment levels.
In spite of having such a strong significance, it is a sad reality that some of these religious and historic monuments are battling for their existence and identity as such it is important to protect and preserve this cultural and religious heritage for reasons ranging from education to historical, research to desire and to reinforce a sense of identity, sources said.
The objectives of the scheme are to identify the sacred places and heritage sites requiring intervention; to carry out their revival, restoration and renovation; to ensure protection and longevity of these places and to promote restoration wherever damage has occurred to these places.