Rs 24.3m allocated for 4 conservation, archaeological excavation schemes

Rs 24.3m allocated for 4 conservation, archaeological excavation schemes

ISLAMABAD-:Punjab government has allocated Rs 24.368 million to resume of work on four ongoing schemes for conservation of monuments and excavation at an historical site, in Multan, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions.

The schemes included excavation at Mound Dillu Roy site and construction of boundary wall around it in DG Khan at a cost of Rs 17.323 million, conservation of tomb of Shah Hussain Saddozai (Rs 8.338 million) in Multan, conservation of tomb of Hazrat Ali Akbar at Suraj Miani in Multan (Rs 30 million) and conservation of remains at Harappa site (Sahiwal) besides construction of an auditorium at an overall cost of Rs 52.453 million there.

The Rs 24.3 million allocation was made in the Punjab budget 2020-21 for utilization in the fiscal year beginning from July 1, 2020.

A sum of Rs 3.678 million was allocated for Mound Dillu Roy where excavation work was suspended on March 18 this year due to novel coronavirus epidemic. The 6400 feet long boundary wall around the site is 98 per cent complete and remaining 244 feet portion would be completed soon as its DPC work has already been done. The project would complete within the fiscal year 2020-21 subject to availability of funds and situation regarding virus epidemic, Incharge archaeology department Malik Ghulam Muhammad told APP.

A sum of Rs 5 million has been allocated for conservation of tomb of Hazrat Ali Akbar at Suraj Miani in Multan that resembles a lot in architectural features with mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn e Alam located at Qasim fort mound in the heart of the city of saints.

Rs 1 million was released last fiscal year 2019-20 out of which Rs 695,000 were utilized and rest of Rs 305,000 were surrendered. Kankar lime plaster has been applied on interior and exterior of the dome and scaffolding fixed on the monument. Fresco designs were now being revived on the dome interior while masons and workers were also conserving exterior of the tomb reviving tiles in Kashikari and other brick work.

An amount of Rs 6.690 million was allocated for conservation of Shah Hussain Saddozai, the chief of Saddizai clan who settled in Multan after leaving Afghanistan. The tomb is located at Abdali Masjid and its conservation work was stopped after Abdali Masjid was declared a quarantine centre for Tableeghi Jamat members. It is now no more a quarantine and work on it would resume shortly. Glazed lime plaster on interior and exterior, brick immitation work was in progress when it was suspended due to virus epidemic. Three doors including one with Jali would be installed and other work including revival of Kashi tiles would resume as and when the funds are released.

The official who also holds additional charge of Archaeology department Sahiwal and Sargodha divisions said that Rs 9 million allocation has also been made for 2020-21 at Harappa worth Rs 52.453 million.

He said, a sum of Rs 15.5 million was spent in fiscal year 2017-18 and another Rs 8.416 million in 2018-19. Ghulam Muhammad said, total Rs 30.460 million have already been invested on the project adding that conservation of remains has been done, canopies for visitors fixed, and walkways through the remains of ancient civilization developed. Archaeological exploration was also carried out at the site.

The officials would now get two gates installed at the enclosure wall and erect sculptures of a bull and a unicorn at the site. Work on auditorium at Harappa would begin soon, however, the buildings department has conveyed that they would revise its PC-1before resuming work. Acquisition of equipment and furniture for the auditorium including the sound system, rostrum, projector and air conditioners would also be carried out. The project is expected to complete within the fiscal year 2020-21 subject to availability of funds. However, official added, it may enter into fiscal year 2021-22 if not completed as per expectations.