Save Janana Mahal

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Qila e Ark complex constructed in the year 1659 AD, and encompassed the area between Delhi gate and, Makai gate. It had the Zanana Mahal, Mardana Mahal, Diwan e Khas and Diwan e Aam. Of these Zanana Mahal was also known as Zebunissa’s Palace. Daughter of the emperor Zebunissa use to reside here. Later the palace was used as Government College of Arts.

The palace due to constant usage, little maintenance and lack of preservation became precarious, thus the college was shifted out to a new building in the same premises with little attention paid to the conservation of the old structure.

There are approx 144 historic site within AMC’s jurisdiction, in need of attention and maintenance. Due to lack of funds the Amc is unable to maintain most of these. Some years back it was proposed to levy 2% surcharge on property tax for maintenance of historic monuments within city limits, but the proposal didn’t see light of the day. The city also missed the chance to get itself included in central government’s Hriday schemes for historical cities which could have made available funds for conservation of heritage buildings. The administration should keep trying to get the city included in Hriday scheme.

The other option which the administration could work out is tapping Smart City funds. 2% of the proposed budget under smart city scheme could be set aside for preservation of monuments.

Zanana Mahal could be brought back to life and put to good use. It could be a place for Art lovers; Activities related to arts like an arts gallery, exhibitions, drama, singing, drawing, architecture, seminars and much more can be organised. Heritage festivals can be held too.

Monuments inside Qila-e-Ark needs special attention, buildings are are in state of disrepair, some portions have collapsed and doorways and windows stolen. It’s a state government property and the government will do good to release funds for its preservation. The least the government could do is allow AMC to collect surcharge on property tax for conservation of heritage monuments within its jurisdiction.

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