SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday chaired 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 conservation efforts must retain the aesthetic, historic and social values of our great civilizational and cultural legacy,” the Lt Governor said.

The scheme was envisaged in order to identify the sacred places and heritage sites requiring intervention, carrying out their revival, restoration or renovation work, ensuring protection and longevity of these places, besides promoting restoration wherever damage have occurred to these places.

The Lt Governor directed the Culture Department to adopt value-based conservation with the help of experts. The department should also ensure transparency and effective onsite monitoring of the projects, he added.

Identify shrines, places having historical, cultural, religious significance and work should follow value-based methodologies and integrated approach to conservation. Take up the projects that reflect the representations of every community and every sect, said the Lt Governor.

While reviewing the division and category wise details of the 35 projects (18 in Jammu & 17 in Kashmir) approved by the Executive Committee, including Temples, Shrines, Gurudwaras, Forts, Church, Sculptures and Bowli, the Lt Governor directed the department for early start of the work on the projects already approved.

He also advised the department to put focus on developing digital library to promote intangible heritage and knowledge heritage.

While stressing on welfare measures for the local artists, the Lt Governor asked the department to make dedicated efforts for the handholding of artists. The Lt Governor advised the department to rope in seasoned & experienced master artists from J&K to train the young artists.

Emphasising on promoting the culture of J&K among the people of other states and vice versa, the Lt Governor called for organising cultural exchange programmes of artists with other states and UTs, furthering the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ movement.

He asked the department to send proposals of some potential projects to the Government of India that can be included in the existing schemes and programmes of the central government.

He further asked the department to take up the issue with the Culture department, Government of India for speedy execution of conservation and restoration of Shergarhi in Kashmir and Mubarak Mandi in Jammu, which is the symbol of our great architectural heritage.

The department was also advised to spread information regarding the places of tourists’ interest in the UT through booklets at airports.

Zubair Ahmad, Administrative Secretary, Culture Department gave a detailed presentation on the initiative of revival, restoration, preservation and maintenance of architecture and heritage in the UT. He also informed about the Cultural festivals to be held at Tourist destinations, besides talent hunt programmes planned at grassroot level.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department; Pardeep Kumar, Director, Archives, Archaeology & Museums, J&K and other senior officials attended the meeting at Raj Bhawan.


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