SRINAGAR: In a meeting held on Monday to review the renovation and restoration of Mughal gardens of Kashmir valley the Commissioner Secretary Floriculture, Gardens and Parks, Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad told the officers to conserve the heritage value of these Mughal gardens while restoring them.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism and Culture, Zubair Ahmad was also invited to attend the meeting for giving his recommendations and suggestions regarding the same.
Director Floriculture, Farooq Ahmad Rather, representatives of Tourism, Archives and Archeology departments were also present in the meeting.
Fayaz asked the officers that the restoration works of all these culturally significant landmarks need continuous attention as the same is of fragile nature. He further urged them that originality of the structures has to be maintained at every cost as it only will ensure recognition of these gardens as World Heritage Sites.
Zubair advised the department that all the critical interventions necessary to be taken for the restoration of these cultural monuments should be sent to the Archives department for their suggestions and guidance. He said that these works should be in line with the requirements of UNESCO heritage list standards.
The Archives department was asked to provide their expertise and guidance for restoration and renovation works of critical nature in Mughal gardens while keeping intact their cultural and historic ethos.
A committee of officers from all the concerned departments and consultant was decided to be framed for studying all the works of emergent nature and the way of completing them aesthetically.
It was given in the meeting that 6 Mughal Gardens namely Nishat, Shalimar, Cheshmashahi, Pari Mahal, Achabal and Veerinag are currently under tentative world heritage list of UNESCO. The meeting further discussed that few works like repairs of boundary wall, restoration of structures inside these gardens, conservation of water channels, water bodies, restoration of terrace toe walls, fixing of devri stone pavers etc. has to be undertaken for restoring the glory of these gardens.
The meeting was called in a run-up to the one taken earlier by Baseer Ahmad Khan Advisor to Lt Governor of J&K during which directions were given to the Floriculture department to prepare a white paper on preserving the Heritage Gardens.
Pertinent to mention here that government has already hired a consultant for preparation of a dossier for onward submission to UNESCO through GoI so that these tentative sites are empanelled as World heritage sites permanently by this international body. This is believed to put them on the international tourist map and grab the attention of tourists visiting the valley all over the globe.