Srinagar, May 28: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the conservation and restoration of the historic Shalimar Garden at Srinagar. In his address, the Lt Governor appreciated the efforts of JSW Foundation, Conservation Architects, Floriculture Department, local artists and other experts associated with the conservation and restoration work of Shalimar Garden.
UT Government, in collaboration with JSW Foundation, is making consistent efforts to restore the glorious heritage of J&K, which will further give a fillip to tourism in the region, the Lt Governor said.
“Gardens are living reflection of cultural heritage. We have embarked on a journey to conserve the precious sites, cultural assets that represent artistic and intellectual brilliance,” added the Lt Governor.
Terming preservation of ecology and cultural heritage, along with growth in the industrial sector as key components of sustainable development, the Lt Governor said that the government is working on all aspects to ensure progress of J&K and equitable development of the society. Apart from bringing new investments & industries to the UT, we have also ensured the protection of cultural assets which we have inherited from our forefathers, the Lt Governor added.
Gardens have remained one of the main attractions for tourists in the valley. The Floriculture Department is making dedicated efforts to preserve the historical-cultural heritage of eight Mughal Gardens. The dossier of the Mughal Gardens was already sent for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site last year and it has boosted the influx of tourists and locals to these gardens, observed the Lt Governor.
Abha Narain Lambah, Conservation Architect briefed the Lt Governor about the phase-wise action plan for the execution of restoration work of the Shalimar garden. It was informed that Stone fountain, painted ceiling, artwork, and unique hydrology system will also be restored under the project.
Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation, while speaking on the occasion highlighted the conservation and restoration works undertaken by JSW foundation, and reiterated the foundation’s commitment to assist and support the Government of J&K in preserving the heritage gardens under CSR.
Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, Commissioner/Secretary, Department of Floriculture, Parks and Gardens in his welcome address highlighted the initiatives taken by the department, in collaboration with experts of Heritage restoration agencies for development and preservation of various parks and gardens in Jammu and Kashmir. Pertinently, J&K Government, last year, inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JSW Foundation for restoration and conservation of Shalimar and Nishat Gardens.
Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group; Sanjay Khan, renowned filmmaker and actor, besides members of JSW Foundation, artists and large number of people from all walks of life were present on the occasion.
Mohd Aijaz, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar; Athar Aamir Khan, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation and other senior officers were also present.