Editorial: Wanton behaviour

Srinagar: The state’s heritage that displays our cultural ethos and values need to be preserved at all costs. The heritage in the form of artifacts and other priceless articles that were somehow saved from the September 2014 deluge have been kept in the SPS Museum at Lal Mandi.

The building which had been built on ‘ultra modern’ and ‘scientific’ lines has however, put all these artifacts at risk as the building has failed to maintain the standards that are otherwise necessary for such buildings.

Though a whooping 66 crore were spend by the government to develop the museum, it seems that the government has wasted efforts and the tax payers money as the building has failed to come up to the expectations needed.

Interestingly, the artifacts were shifted to the new building from the old Dogra-era mansion after 2014 floods. These are currently at display in five galleries—Numismatics, Archaeology, Decorative Art, Arms and Armory and Culture-Society.

The building has been designed in such a way that natural light fails to illuminate the rooms where the artifacts have been stored. This may a requirement for the museums but one fails to understand the logic of not providing lighting facilities to these rooms.

If insiders are to be believed then the building has failed primarily to come up on scientific lines. This was bound to happen because the building has not been approved by any expert but the Police Housing Corporation had been tasked to constructed the new building that would house the heritage museum.

The building’s electric systems have not been set according to the requirement and whenever any visitor wishes to pay a visit he comes out fuming owing to non-availability of electricity inside the rooms.

The heritage building, no doubt had been equipped with inverters and other facilities, but these have failed to function leaving the officials manning the museum with no other option than to curse their luck.

What is ironic is that the officials posted at the heritage building have been requesting for a special power supply line from the PDD but for the last two years the officials of the PDD have not even bothered to write back.  

All this shows the callous attitude of the officials and lack of accountability in the government. If the SPS museum considers some merit then the government should have acted wisely and ensured that the construction of the building is done in such a way that fulfills all the modern day requirements. After all the officials are no aliens and they are well aware of the requirements of heritage buildings in a place like Kashmir.

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