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Manek Burj's sorry state fails to move AMC

DNAHM53975 | 4/19/2012 | Author : Jitendra Dave | WC :346 | City-Ahmedabad

Even on World heritage day, Debris, garbage mar beauty of the historic monument

Manek Burj, a historic monument associated with the founding of Ahmedabad, is in a sorry state. Even on World Heritage Day on Wednesday, debris and garbage were piled all around the fort wall marring the beauty of the historic monument. The AMC's heritage and health department is supposed to look after it but it appears to be indifferent to the monument's upkeep.
The AMC has been campaigning for World Heritage City status for Ahmedabad from UNESCO but it hardly pays attention to the protection and maintenance of the city's monuments. Officials at AMC do not have any information about illegal constructions around protected heritage monuments in the city. For this information, the AMC depends on the Archeological Survey of India. (On March 10, 2011, DNA had reported about illegal constructions around Manek Buraj, but the civic body was unaware of the illegal structures.)
The opposition in the AMC blames both the political and the executive wing of the civic body for the garbage and debris lying around Manek Burj. "BJP has done very little to conserve and protect city's heritage monuments. It just believes in wasting taxpayer's money on functions and not on actual work," said Badruddin Shaikh, leader of opposition in AMC.
He cited the neglected status of Manek Burj and the fire that burnt a hole in the historic Dandi Bridge on Tuesday as instances of the BJP's neglect of heritage structures.
It is interesting that neither the heritage department nor the health department of the civic body is willing to accept blame for the state of Manek Burj. Captain Dilip Mahajan, deputy municipal commissioner of AMC's heritage department, said the problem of debris and garbage lying around Manek Burj does not fall under his purview. It is the health department of Central Zone that attends to this problem, he said.
On the other hand, the deputy health officer of AMC's Central Zone, Bhavin Joshi, said that his department sends a special team to clean heritage monuments only when asked by the heritage department. "Our responsibility is to clean TP roads," said Joshi.

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