Heritage walk annoys Manimajra Fort occupants

Manimajra Fort

The heritage walk at the Manimajra Fort this morning hardly turned out to be a walk, with visitors walking around the property only for a few metres.

Among those who came were officers of the UT administration and Haryana and members of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) of the Chandigarh chapter, which has proposed to conserve the fort.

But there is a problem. It is yet to arrive at a settlement with the legal custodians of the property who have been maintaining it for 40 years. The fort is being looked after by a trust whose members occupy the property and are unwilling to accept outside help for its restoration.

“We won’t have anyone do anything with the fort. How can the administration use it as a tourist spot when we are living here?” a trustee asked today.

The administration, however, is determined to promote the fort for the purpose of tourism. Vivek Atray, director, tourism, and co-convener of INTACH, Chandigarh, said: “We want to promote the property and will take everyone along. The idea is to preserve it. We are working out a settlement with the occupants.”

V.K. Kapoor of INTACH said INTACH had been shortlisted for the conservation of the fort and two other properties in Chandigarh’s vicinity.

“This fort is on its last leg and is made ugly by weeds and bushes. People have no knowledge of it. Nobody comes here or knows about its history. It needs restoration,” he said, adding that a project report on the fort’s conservation would be prepared within six months.

 

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