Works Minister concerned at the dilapidated condition of SPS heritage building

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SRINAGAR: Minister for Public Works & Culture, Naeem Akhtar on Thursday expressed serious concern at the dilapidated condition of the century-old heritage SPS building housing museum, and ordered for initiating of immediate restoration works on it to return its erstwhile glory.
He took stock of the modalities for conservation and reuse proposal of the old SPS Museum building.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Culture, M Saleem Sheeshgar, Convener INTACH M Saleem Beg, Director Information, Muneer-ul-Islam, Director Tourism, Mehmood A Shah, Assistant Director SPS Museum, Mushtaq A Beg and others officers.
He directed the concerned authorities to primarily start works on the structural retrofit to strengthen the building for which he assured them of sanctioning Rs 50 lakh rupees in phase one this financial year and added that for other works the funds will be sanctioned accordingly.
As per 2016 assessment report prepared by INTACH, the restoration works on the building requires an estimated Rs 1.023 crore that includes both strengthening of building and internal works like framing galleries and decorative part.
The Minister added that the services of best works agency be hired for this project as restoration works on this museum requires the services of best workmanship so that its old grandeur is maintained.
He asked them to formulate the reuse proposal for the building as a ‘city museum’ for educational purposes that displays and celebrates the essence of the Srinagar city so that students and the youth can benefit from the knowledge of rich heritage.
Meanwhile, INTACH Senior Conservation Architect Saima Iqbal gave a presentation on the occasion to apprise the Minister regarding the conservation and reuse proposal for the old SPS Museum building that highlighted the stabilizing of structure and components of restoration.
Later, the Works Minister also took stock of the ongoing works at Media Complex, Srinagar including the Audio-Visual Complex and Reference Library-cum-Reading Room.