Kashmir’s famed shrine Makhdoom Sahib faces official neglect

‘Wall’ collapsed months ago, yet to be reconstructed
Kashmir’s famed shrine Makhdoom Sahib faces official neglect
Photo - Mubashir Khan/GK

Months after a 'wall' of the Makhdoom Sahib shrine, one of Kashmir's celebrated Dargahs located in the Downtown, here, collapsed, the Wakf authorities looking after these shrines have failed to reconstruct it. The shrine, a typical Mughal architecture design, which has a great heritage value, is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year.

The wall on the top of the shrine has collapsed months ago,but the J&K Muslim Wakf Board has not been able to get it reconstructed bythe R&B department.

A devotee at the shrine rued, "A wall has collapsed andnobody cares. How can you leave the shrine unattended?"

The Wakf officials, however, said that they had taken up thematter with the R&B department "but nothing has been done."

"Even the debris of the wall has not been cleared. There ispossibility that vulnerable structure might further collapse posing a danger tothe devotees," he said.

When contacted, Chief Engineer, R&B Department, said,"It's not a wall that has collapsed. There is an extended portion in the shrinethat has collapsed. It is a temporary portion and not the actual wall.

"But we will further strengthen that. We will shortly bepreparing a DPR (Detailed Project Report) for that."

However, this is the not the first time that the Wakf Boardhas failed to protect its shrines.

In 2012, a fire gutted the 245-year-old Dastageer sahibshrine. Omar Abdullah, then CM ordered a fire safety audit of all major shrinesin the Valley. The government had also asked for an action plan for theprotection and preservation of the shrines.

A committee was constituted to inquire into Dastageer SahibShrine fire. Apart from seeking a detailed probe by agencies concerned to findout the exact cause of fire, the committee suggested a slew of measures toprevent recurrence of such incidents in future. But none of theserecommendations was put into practice.

In November 2017, another shrine, Khanqah-e-Moula, caughtfire and much of its upper portion went up in the flames.  Courtesy prompt intervention by the firebrigade officials and the local people, the fire was doused before it couldspread. An old ceiling fan fell on a devotee at the Asar-I-Sharief Shehrishrine at Kalashpora, Srinagar. The Intizamia Committee of the shrine hadcomplained that ceiling fans in the shrine had been installed 40 years back,were rusty and no longer dependable.

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