5 years on, authorities fail to clear junk from Old Secretariat premises

5 years on, authorities fail to clear junk from Old Secretariat premises

Despite passing of five years, authorities have failed to clear junk from Old Secretariat complex which is one of the oldest heritage sites in Kashmir. 

In 2014, when floods devastated every office building inKashmir, Old Secretariat was among the few offices that was spared from thewrath of floods. From broken chair, to rustic almirahs, every damaged furnitureor equipment from other offices, which were submerged in water, was dumped inthis heritage complex. five years on, the junk is yet to be cleared.

The failure of the authorities to clear the junk andundertake regular sanitation in the Old Secretariat has turned this heritagecomplex into a junkyard.

The Old Secretariat Complex, seat of the erstwhile Dograpower, was declared a heritage site in 1977. It functioned as the highest seatof government after end of Dogra rule, but now this heritage complex is cravingfor government attention.

Torn pages are scattered in every department, the discardedfiles are thrown out and cobwebs and dust are the most obvious sight in thecomplex, which was once a place of the Maharaja's.

From past two years, Greater Kashmir highlighted unhygienicand filthy condition of the Old Secretariat, but authorities seem to beunmoved.

In absence of sanitation, tons of garbage has accumulated inthe backyard of this neglected complex.

"This is the condition of the Old Secretariat where manyimportant offices are housed. If one makes a comparison between the old andcivil secretariat, one can clearly make out the difference that how thisheritage building has been neglected," said an official working in the OldSecretariat.

"We feel embarrassed to work in a place where the repulsivesmell of the toilets emanates from every corner. This secretariat resembles ajunkyard, and nothing else," he said.

The staircases of this archaic building are broken, rainscome down from the open roof and accumulates all around on the floor. Also, thespiders dangle from cobwebs all around, antiquated widows are separated fromtheir hinges, century old-pillars are too fragile to hold the weight of thedilapidated building that have developed cracks. 

Ironically, the government's Swach Bharat Campaign has alsofailed to touch this heritage site.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Baseer Khan said, "as thematter has been brought to my notice, I will ensure that the Old Secretariat iscleaned."

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