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Chief Secretary reviews revival of heritage sites in Jammu & Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, today chaired the meeting to take stock of sites to be taken up under the scheme “Revival, Restoration, Preservation & Maintenance of Architecture and Heritage in Jammu & Kashmir”.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary, Culture; Secretary, Tourism; Director Tourism, Jammu, and several other government officers from the concerned Departments.

The Chief Secretary impressed upon the officers to include as many sites as possible that have rich cultural importance and social appeal. He underscored the need of striking the balance in the selection of sites belonging to different socio-religious communities.

Dr Mehta advised the officers to take the best care of the original ingredients and architecture while carrying out the restoration works on these heritage sites. He stressed maintaining the aesthetic, cultural, and historic aura of each site while taking up any new works at these sites.

The sites include dozens of sites from both divisions of UT. Some of the prominent sites to be taken up for revival and restoration include Basohli Fort Kathua, Machail Mata Temple, Sarthal Mata Temple, Shriomani Deri Nangali Sahib Gurudwara Poonch, Sharika Devi Temple Srinagar, Baba Shukoor-ud-Din Baramulla, Shamas Faqeer Budgam, Sheikh ul Alam Shrine Qaimoh Kulgam and dozens of others across all the districts of J&K.

On the occasion, the Chief Secretary also asked the officers to have close coordination between the School Education, Higher Education, Rural Development, Urban Development, and Youth Services & Sports Departments in order to give a fillip to the cultural and sports activities at the Panchayat level.

Dr Mehta observed that each person irrespective of age, gender or economic background has some inherent talent in him and only needs some encouragement to showcase it. He maintained that our younger generation is exceptionally talented and deserves handholding to bring the best out of them. He underlined the need of providing them with opportunities at each level for making big in their lives.

He asked the departments to integrate the ongoing Sports activities with those cultural activities. He told them to use these events for the promotion of ‘Nasha Mukht Abhiyan’ and ‘Digital Literacy’ for the benefit of the masses.

The Chief Secretary further emphasized making the twin cities vibrant cultural hubs where some sort of activities are going on a daily basis. He made out that the relevant places like Bahu Fort, Mubarak Mandi, Char Chinar, and Nehru Park beside the infrastructure present in these cities should be fully utilized to promote the local culture and artists here.

The Chief Secretary also took stock of the process of selecting sites for the revival and restoration of heritage in different districts of J&K. The meeting also provided the accord of Administrative Approval for carrying out the restoration, preservation, and maintenance of Salal Fort, a heritage site in the Reasi district of the UT.

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