“Stop move to shift govt. offices into protected monuments in J&K”

Renowned personalities from different walks of life write to Lt. Governor

Several renowned personalities from J&K have asked Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha on Monday to intervene and stop any move to set up government offices in two protected monuments, Mubarak Mandi in Jammu and Shergarhi complex in Srinagar.

A joint letter signed by 22 dignitaries from different walks of life pointed out the Shergahi complex, Srinagar, an 18th century structure, was declared a State Protected Monument in July 2017. “We have received disturbing information that the Union Territory (UT) administration is proposing to shift some government departments to the complex. This will irreversibly tamper with its historic character. It is requested that no action should be taken to dilute the integrity of the complex, like locating government offices in protected monuments,” the signatories said.

The joint petition underlined that “any inappropriate use of these buildings will go against the letter and spirit of their status as State protected monuments.”

“We also demand that the process of their preservation initiated in the previous years be speeded up and taken to its logical conclusion,” it said.

It said the two monuments stand out for their architectural style and decorative elements, which are also a testimony to the inclusive and composite character of J&K.

Those who signed the petition included academic Prof. Amitabh Matoo; former deputy chairman, legislative council, M.Y Taing; former principal secretary to Prime Minister S. Misra; poet and Gyan Peeth Awardee Prof. Rehman Rahi; former vice chancellor of the Jammu University Prof. R.R Sharma; former chief secretaries Hindal Tyabji and Dr. S.S Billouria; former chairman of the J&K Public Service Commission M.S Pandit; and former secretary, tourism, Government of India, Parvez Dewan.

Well-known artists like film-maker Mohiuddin Mirza and Santoor maestro Pandit Bajan Sopori have also signed the petition.


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