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Govt Stops Work At Khanqah-e-Muala Following Outrage

by Mehru N Nisa

SRINAGAR: Following outrage on the decimation of the age-old wall murals (Naqashi) of the Khanqah-e-Muala by the Tourism Department, the government came into action on Monday to stop the work.

Director of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Muneer-ul-Islam visited the heritage shrine to halt the repair work on the walls.

“This art is rare and people are very much concerned about it. We need to maintain its originality. Whatsoever damage has been done, we need to minimise it,” Islam said.

Islam said that he has contacted the Tourism Department to discuss the mater

“We are stopping the work till we find a better alternative to renovate the monument. We will try to go for natural colours instead of these chemical ones,” Islam added.

He said that before starting the work, the tourism department should have consulted the concerned department.

He said the electric wires attached over the walls have “ruined” the aesthetics of the shrine.

“The wires could have been closer to the ground.”

Meanwhile, another official visiting the shrine said, “It has been almost a month since the work on the walls started but nobody bothered to care what was being done. These renovations are not to ruin the monument.”

Srinagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu who was also accompanying Islam expressed his concerns over the usage of acrylic colours on the walls.

“The colours are highly flammable and would create an avoidable danger. The concerned departments should have consulted the experts and then started the work,” Mattu said.

People have been expressing resentment on the social media platforms after pictures of the decimation of the oldest surviving wall murals (Naqashi) at the shrine went viral.

The issue was brought in the limelight by Design Director INTACH Kashmir Hakim Sameer Hamdani who tweeted about the matter.

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