Govt finally wakes up to save heritage sites

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has formally ordered engaging of NIT Srinagar and IIT Madras for conservation, retrofitting and upgrading of 19th century building  blocks.

The two premier institutions have been asked to initiate works to conserve the Government Girls Secondary School at Ashai Kocha-Fatehkadal in Old city Srinagar and the residence of revered Islamic scholar Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA) and his Madrassa at Lolab in Kupwara district.  

The education department accorded sanction to engage NIT Srinagar and the IIT-Madras, through centre for Urbanization, Buildings and Environment (CUBE), “a centre of excellence of IIT Madras and Government of Tamil Nadu for executing of the projects, officials said.

They said the government has also accorded sanction to the acquisition of the ancestral house, around 150-year-old, of Allama Anwar shah Kashmiri in Lolab.

The government has authorized the Director School Education Kashmir to sign an MOU with NIT Srinagar and IIT-Madras in this regard, they said.

The decision to conserve the historic buildings was taken by the state cabinet last month in recognizing the literary contribution of Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933), a renowned Islamic scholar and son of the soil as also historic importance of 19th Century building blocks housing Government Girls Secondary School at Ashai Kocha- Fatehkadal here.

The government recognized that late Alama Kashmiri not only taught at a number of prominent institutions including Darul Uloom Deoband but he imparted the knowledge across length and breadth of the sub-continent before returning to Kashmir where he continued to enlighten people through his knowledge.

Late Alama’s residence in Anwarabad-Lolab where his descendants continue to live is a three storey timber structure built in adherence to the seismic responsive, vernacular traditional of building. However, years of disuse, lack of adequate maintenance, and incompatible interventions have resulted in severe dilapidation to the building.

The department of education decided to go for conservation of the building at Fateh Kadal as it belonged to Ghulam Ahmad Ashai–the eminent educationist, bureaucrat, scholar and political thinker par excellence.

As per the government, the project is pivoted around conservation, retrofitting, and upgrading of two connected mid-19th Century building blocks in the Government Girls’ Secondary School at Ashai Kocha– Fateh Kadal here. (Kashmir Wire)




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