Post by on Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Recently, while chairing a meeting to review the action plan for effective implementation of the scheme for ‘Revival, Restoration, Preservation and Maintenance of Ancient Cultural Heritage’ in Jammu and Kashmir, the Honourable LG Manoj Sinha directed the Culture Department to adopt value-based conservation. Speaking on the occasion he further said that, “The conservation efforts must retain the aesthetic, historic and social values of our great civilizational and cultural legacy.” The government’s renewed interest in restoring cultural sites or places having historical significance is encouraging and must be appreciated. It is fact that to preserve past is a sign of civility. This act not only speaks the richness of a civilization, but also of its people. Experts believe that preserving historical legacy and heritage sites is very important to the community and should be constantly replicated and passed down from generation to generation. In the past government has done wonderful job by preserving many historical monuments and heritage sites in J&K. While safeguarding our rich historical legacy, the government should take interest in those projects which not only are related with our past but have potential to be economic centres in present times. However, the aim shouldn’t be financial only, but to improve the state of preservation substantially, to ensure the long term consolidation of these sites, to increase the capacity in the conservation of cultural heritage, and to create a basis for the inception of cultural tourism. Efforts should be made for the development of Srinagar as the heritage city besides making it a smart city. Many experts are of the opinion that preservation should not be confined to a few projects only. Further, there are many sites in J&K which need to be preserved as they are encroached by people. If we have to preserve our heritage and culture something innovative must be done. In the past, we have already seen how in the name of developing the city suburbs, the rice and fertile agricultural land was destroyed. The government and the concerned authorities along with the civil society can help in the shaping up of Srinagar and Jammu city, if they want. They can review the work already done, set priorities; try to secure funding and set the agenda. There is no dearth of historical places in Kashmir and the conservation of these sites can help in attaining sustainable development and will also help in making Kashmir as a top tourist destination.