Haveli being pulled down for shopping mall

The old heritage ‘haveli’ having frescos depicting Maharaja Ranjit Singh holding a ‘durbar’, unique floral designs and patterns, high-quality stain glasses in different geometrical shapes, different floor patterns, tiles and beautifully carved wooden doors and windows shows how precious a treasure is being lost. The facade of the building also has fresco borders. The ‘haveli’ has elegant Japanese tiles with borders, which are not found nowadays.

‘It is height of frustration. To whom should I say and complain. In spite of the efforts to make the authorities concerned impose the change of land use rules strictly, nobody is bothering to save our heritage,’ lamented Mr Balvinder Singh, conservation planner and reader of Guru Ram Dass School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University.

He said, ‘Mohrakashi technique’ of frescos; stain glasses, carved wooden windows and floor patterns show that ‘haveli’ is part of our rich heritage belonging to the British era. The government must have taken concrete steps to preserve these ‘havelis’. What would be more unfortunate than seeing our heritage structures being demolished and labourers pulling down the beautiful works of art.’

Mr Sudarshan, a contractor, said a shopping complex was likely to be constructed at the place. He said the construction of the shopping complex at the site would create a traffic bottleneck in the congested bazaar.
Mr Balvinder said a UNESCO team was scheduled to visit the place in the next few months and if the heritage buildings were demolished, it would have a negative effect on them. He said an immediate action could save the facade of the building. He urged the civic body to intervene immediately. He said NRIs should form an NGO and participate in the preservation of such buildings.

Mr Kulbir Singh Kang, Municipal Commissioner, could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.

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