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Where's Heritage Conservation Act?
4/19/2018 12:34:28 AM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Apr 18: The J&K government has failed to implement the 'Jammu and Kashmir Heritage Conservation Act' for the preservation of heritage buildings and sites in the state.
Every year April 18 is being celebrated as the World Heritage Day. It is being celebrated to encourage people to conserve our rich past.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to implement 'Jammu and Kashmir Heritage Conservation Act' for the preservation of heritage buildings and sites despite the state having vast treasure of heritage buildings.
The J&K Heritage Conservation and Preservation Act 2010 was aimed at conservation and preservation of heritage, both tangible and intangible including buildings, structures, monuments, precincts, areas/sites, artefacts.
However, the ground reality of historical buildings depict a sorry tale picture, due to indifference by the authorities.
The heritage sites and buildings have a huge importance in the state, which as per experts needs to be preserved and could become the tremendous tourist importance.
Officials said there are huge ancient riches in Srinagar as well as other districts of Kashmir and in Jammu region, which fail to attract tourists, unlike in other states where heritage tourism is one of the fastest growing niche market segments in the travel industry.
"Jammu and Kashmir Heritage Conservative Act is only confined to papers. The Act has been framed but the authorities are not bothered to implement it. Under this Act, the government has to identify, register and make efforts for the preservation of buildings, which have huge heritage importance," an official said.
He said buildings, shrines, temples and other religious places of heritage importance needs to be restored for our future generations.
He said state has a very rich cultural heritage in terms of buildings built in different times during different regimes and needs to be preserved.
Experts warn that over 60-important religious and heritage structures located along the banks of Jhelum in Srinagar, mostly in downtown are likely to become a thing of the past if the official apathy continues.
Starting from Zero Bridge, some of the structures along the Bund and Amira Kadal onwards to Chattabal are evidences of Kashmir's wooden and mud architecture and of glorious past heritage.
The official said the heritage sites are cultural assets of immense value which provide identity to the community and the society and link its past to the future.
He believes that heritage sites should be preserved for our future generations. "The heritage buildings including which have religious importance are dying steadily. The future generation will come to know about our history books only if the authorities don't take measures for their preservation," he said.
Stating that state has failed to convert heritage sites into heritage tourism, a senior official of Tourism Department said if the heritage sites are properly preserved and bringing them on the tourism map, it will attract the attention of tourists across the globe to visit these heritage places
Meanwhile, on the occasion of World Heritage Day, a special exhibition on the traditional and exquisite Kashmiri shawls was held at SPS Museum Lal Mandi.
The exhibition was organized by Department of Archives Archaeology and Museums.
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