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HC seeks report on steps taken for preservation of monuments
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Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Dec 14: High Court today directed the Archeology, Archives and Museums department to inform the Court about steps taken for filling up of various posts in the department and preservation of various monuments in the State.
Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey asked the state counsel to inform the Court by next date what steps have been taken for filling up of various posts in the department and preservation of various monumental buildings..
State counsel submitted to the Court that some steps have been taken and a committee has been constituted and further course of action is in offing.
“That being so he shall also file latest status four days prior to next date of hearing. In the latest status report it shall be clearly indicated as to whether any decision has been taken for ensuring complete compliance”, DB directed.
Regarding the investigation carried by CBI, Union Counsel informed the Court that he shall be granted some time to file the status of investigation with regard to theft of 400 year old manuscript of Holy Quran from the SPS Museum.
“Status report with regard to CBI investigation has not been filed. Learned ASGI states that updated status report will be filed on next date because so far investigating agency has not been able to make substantial progress in reaching to any positive conclusion. The updated status report be filed four days prior to next date”, reads the order.
Archives department has to report the Court about the filling of required skilled staff for better maintaining of excavation sites and monuments which spread over different places in the entire State.
Department was required to send a proposal to the Government in this regard and Government in terms of court directions has to expedite the proposal as there is dire need for manpower so that the excavation sites as also the monuments be taken care of.
Requirement of manpower has been summarized and as per the status report of Museums department the requirement is 236 while as only 25 are in place.
With regard to points of concern for maintenance of excavation sites and monuments which are under the control of State for better coordination with Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the Union counsel Tahir Shamsi assured the court that ASI shall provide all possible coordination to Museums department for better care of monuments.
This PIL pertains to the SPS museum Srinagar, excavation sites and heritage monuments Kashmir. In so far as the SPS museum is concerned, the petition started with regard to missing/stolen artifacts from the museum way back in 2003.
Court has also been apprised about the preservation of a building of 19th century situated at Zadibal, Srinagar and in this connection Director of museums submitted that a committee was constituted by the department and a team of officers have been deputed for examining and inspecting the site and to prepare a detailed report for declaring it as heritage site. The process for the declaration has been processed and the revenue papers of the said building have been collected from the Revenue Department. The requisite documents are being forwarded to the Government (Department of Culture) for consideration of declaration as heritage.
It may be mentioned here that in the month of October Deputy Director National Archives of India (NIA) visited the State Archives Repository at Lal Mandi here and laid emphasis for better archival preservation in J&K. He assured that the National Museum will provide all possible financial assistance to the department of Archives for development of archives repositories in the state.
He further assured that the National Museum will provide all possible financial assistance to the department of Archives for development of archives repositories in the state. Pertinently, financial aid for the State has been raised from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.
The Deputy Director while emphasizing the importance of preserving records, called for transferring records of all government departments in the State to the department of Archives in order that their preservation is ensured.

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