Dilapidation due to absence of technical, financial assistance for preservation
Absence of preservation, revitalization and management plans for buildings of heritage value is a major challenge in preserving the historic monuments in Srinagar, government has admitted.
According to newly approved Srinagar Master Plan–2035, the heritage structures of high significance are in a serious state of dilapidation due to absence of technical and financial assistance for their preservation.
As per the communique received from GoI, the State government can nominate a nodal agency like Town Planning Department for the preparation of heritage by-laws for protected buildings and sites.
As per the plan, the Jammu and Kashmir Heritage Conservation and Preservation Act 2010 provides for conservation and preservation of heritage both tangible and intangible, including buildings, structures, monuments, precinct, areas/sites, artifacts, sculptures, paintings, handicrafts, manuscripts etc.
It includes music, dance, drama, performing arts, poetry, living traditions like crafts and cuisine, traditional knowledge systems, folklores, spiritual traditions.
The sites notified under JKHCPA 2010 are referred as Protected Sites/Heritage Sites. The acts provides for the preparation of Conservation and Preservation Plans for both tangible and intangible heritage vide sub-section 10(1) and lists the matters under sub-section 10(2) such as regulations, listing and grading, development control etc. that should be part of the plan.
Even buffer zones of 300 metres have been provided around ASI protected monuments under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010. It comprises 100 metre prohibited area and 200 metre regulated area.
However, the monuments and structures protected by Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums are provided with 100 metre buffer zone as prohibited and regulated area.
As per the Master Plan, original owners are disposing off their properties due to increase in land value and maintenance cost of these heritage structures. Non-availability of parking space leads to on street parking of vehicles which reduces the carriage width of road and further blocks the visibility of these heritage structures of high significance, reads the Master Plan.
It also reveals the inadequate public open spaces which adversely impacts quality of life more specifically for children. “Also, lack of conservation and development of the water front, ghats and open spaces."
As per the Master Plan, streetscape and street furniture are not adequate. Inadequate conservation and upgradation of the buildings of heritage significance housing community facilities such as schools, primary health centres etc.
Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Muneer-ul-Islam was not available for his comments.