Expressing concern over slow pace of restoration work on the prestigious Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today stressed upon roping in other agencies to supplement the ongoing works being carried out by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) so that the restoration work is expedited and grandeur of the heritage site is restored.
The Chief Minister issued these directions while chairing 7th Governing Body meeting of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society (MMHS).
Also present in the meeting were Minister for Finance, Culture and Labor & Employment Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture, Ms Priya Sethi, Legislators, Mr Rajesh Gupta and Mr Ashok Khajuria, and other official and non-official members of the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society.
The Committee took a comprehensive review of the action taken report on the decisions taken in the sixth meeting of the governing body.
Stressing the need to fix timeline for taking up various components of work of the State Protected Monument, the Chief Minister issued directions for identifying agencies other than ASI having relevant expertise in conservation of heritage sites, so that they are entrusted with the work to restore the buildings on fast-track.
The Chief Minister also issued directions to the Department of Tourism to simultaneously take up landscaping and beautification works in the complex so that it gets a facelift till the restoration process is underway and the complex may be opened for public and tourists.
The Governing body also approved sanctioning of Rs 50 lakh for undertaking the preservation and shifting of nearly five lakh rare manuscripts, documents, reports, books etc.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need to build stakeholdership among the people in the area that this historic site is an integral part of our heritage and culture and get their support to help remove unauthorized parking around the complex which is vital in restoring the pristine glory of Mubarak Mandi complex. She directed Divisional Commissioner Jammu to personally look into it.
The Chief Minister also asked the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to facilitate shifting of any remaining offices from the complex so that the restoration work could be carried out smoothly.
The Chief Minister asked the ASI representatives to enhance their capacity and resources at the site so that the restoration work can be expedited.
Calling for better synergy between various agencies involved in restoration works, Ms Mehbooba laid stress on emulating best practices in conservation of heritage sites and buildings.
Chief Secretary, Mr B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner Planning and Development, Mr B B Vyas, Principal Secretary to CM Mr Navin K Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary, PDD, Mr Dheeraj Gupta, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Secretary Culture, Ms Dilshad Khan, Secretary Tourism, Mr Farooq Ahmed Shah, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Mr Simrandeep Singh, Director Tourism Jammu, Ms Sushma Chouhan, and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.