150 Years old Mahraja era dispensary reduced to rubble in Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir government has demolished 150-year-old dispensary at Maharaj Gunj, Downtown area of summer capital, Srinagar which was built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1865.
The locals blamed that there is a lack of coordination between government departments and its allied wings.
“We don’t know who to blame now. The government took this faulty decision without consulting the right experts,” locals told Kashmir Post.
This 150-year-old dispensary was two-story building which was made up of stones, mid-19th-century bricks on the banks of river Jhelum and had a great architectural work.
Zareefa Begum, a local, told Kashmir Post that “dispensary was the jewel of our locality that would recall us how there were medical facilities during the regime of Maharaja.
“We hope that government should soon the reconstruct the building because the temporary building is congested. Patients also suffer here,” she said.
An employee at the makeshift dispensary said it was government’s negligence that they had not registered it with Archaeological Survey of India.
The official, wishing not be named said, “Kashmir valley’s noted Doctor Ali Jan has practiced in this historical dispensary, but unfortunately except two walls nothing has been left in the building.”
“We vacated the building in 2015 and then moved to a temporary building which is also insecure,” he said.
He said,” this dispensary is headquartering of the Zone and 23 sub-centers are working under it.
Another local Mohammad Shaban, 70, said that dispensary was dismantled before one month and now they (government) have put stay order for further demolition. Shaban said one month ago, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Abid Rashid Shah had ordered to preserve the building but nothing happened on the ground.
“How can be historic dispensary build again, then the government should also dismantle Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and built them again, he questioned.
Some officials claim that building was declared as unsafe by the government after 2014 floods and had been temporarily moved to makeshift premises at a nearby public park. They said building was having only small cracks developed, that could have repaired easily.”
Pertinently in December 2107, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah had ordered a two-member team of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to submit a new sketch of dispensary building within a week based on Maharaja’s design.
However, Director, Department of Archives, Archaeology & Museums, Mohammad Shafi Zahid told Kashmir Post that, the dispensary was yet not declared heritage building, but as per departmental survey it was put in next list.
“These things require coordination between among departments, if they would not support then it is difficult to declare heritage site without proper papers,” Director said. Zahid added that lack of governmental support can also be one of the reasons to lose this historic dispensary building.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Abid Rashid Shah said that “We will reconstruct the structure at same place,” he said.