Resolve to take steps for saving precious Dogra heritage
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Prominent citizens of Jammu including retired Army Generals, Vice Chancellors, Administrators, Professionals, Businessmen and representatives of Civil Society from different parts of Jammu Province showed their serious concern on the move to commercialize the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Complex by inviting expression of Interest for a substantial part of the Complex, in the first instance, to convert it into a Heritage Hotel etc.These unambiguous sentiments were expressed in an online meeting of prominent citizens as disclosed in a Statement issued today by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak, former Minister, former Vice Chairman of the “Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society” and President, Dogra Sadar Sabha, J&K.He stated that the participants in the meeting, convened by him, unanimously expressed that the attempt at extinguishing the glorious heritage and cultural identity of the valiant and nationalistic Dogras implied trampling upon their emotions and sentiments, for a short term financial gain, and was cause for great anxiety and dismay.Charak said that it was underlined in the meeting that the complex was a protected monument, under the Jammu and Kashmir Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, Svt.1977, which does not permit such use of a protected monument, and therefore the move to lease out Mubarak Mandi for commercial purposes is in violation of the law. It was emphasized by participants that conversion of a protected monument is unheard of, and there is no precedence of any State or Centrally protected monument in the country having ever been converted into a Hotel etc.It was pointed out that even States like Rajasthan do not permit such conversion of State protected monuments, and have framed policies to encourage owners of only unprotected private heritage properties to reuse or convert them into heritage hotels or other commercial use.He further disclosed that it was also observed by the participants that a well thought out and comprehensive Plan for the Conservation and Adaptive Reuse of the Historic Complex, prepared after years of hard work by a cross-section of officials and citizen-members of the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society, which already stands approved by the Governing Body of the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society, chaired by the then Governor J&K, in March 2019, and is presently being implemented, does not envisage conversion of any part of the Complex into a Hotel. Therefore, the deviation from the approved plan also constitutes a violation of the Rules and Regulations of the legally established Society, as its Apex decision taking body is the Governing Body alone.Charak said that the participants also strongly felt that the move will deal a severe blow to the multiple components of Jammu’s tourism industry by depriving them of the benefits of a boost in tourist traffic that would otherwise accrue, on Jammu’s emergence on the World cultural tourism map by showcasing and promoting the complex as a premier cultural tourism destination, as envisaged in the comprehensive conservation plan which has been designed in accordance with international conservation norms to attract large numbers of tourists to Jammu city and rejuvenate its bazaars, tourism infrastructure and the tourism economy as a whole. The move, therefore, also ran contrary to the statement by Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, J&K, that tourism to Jammu Province will be given a boost. He further disclosed that it was unanimously resolved in the meeting that the move to lease out Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Jammu to a private party for conversion into a Hotel be brought immediately in the notice of Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor J&K, with the request to look into the matter for its urgent reconsideration.It was also resolved that the conservation of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Jammu, as per the approved comprehensive conservation plan may be expedited so that, as already announced by Manoj Sinha, it is ready in time for the celebrations in connection with commemoration of 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022.It was further resolved that while thanking the Lt Governor for presenting Jammu with Gandola Ropeway connecting Mahamaya temple with Peerkho temples, its main culmination point be extended to the Mubarak Mandi Complex as originally proposed.Prominent among the participants in the meeting included Maj. Gen. G. S. Jamwal, Maj. Gen. L. M. Arora, Maj. Gen. Sunita Kapoor VSM, Prof. R.R. Sharma, Former Vice Chancellor , Prof. R.D. Sharma Former Vice Chancellor, Col. Dr. Virendra.K. Sahi VrC, Prof.of History Dr. Anita Billawaria, Prof. Poonam Choudhary, Ajay Khajuria, Dy. Commissioner (Retd), Vinod Malhotra, Chief Town Planner (Retd), Gh. Ahmad Khwaja Dy.Commissioner (Retd), Robin Mehta, Director Tourism (Retd) , Arvind Kotwal, JKAS (Retd), Sr. Adv. D.S. Chauhan, Adv. H.C. Jalmeria, Charan Singh Slathia, Anil Suri, Industrialist , Uma Katal, Samar Dev Singh Charak, Secy DET, Brig. M.S Jamwal (Retd), Sukhdev Singh, Educationist, Gambhir Dev Singh Charak,Incharge Youth Wing DSS, Janak Khajuria, Genl Secy, DDADA, Satpal, President DSS Kathua, Dr. Raghbir Singh, S.C. Rekhi, Genl Secy SLNMT, Pritam Singh, Dr. V.S. Sharma and Suresh Sharma.
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