INTACH to promote heritage tourism

Dharamsala, August 9

The Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) will take legal action if heritage properties in the state are defaced or altered.

Malvika Pathania, state convener of INTACH, while talking to The Tribune, said that it was unfortunate that many heritage buildings, including those owned by the state government, were being defaced and altered despite a ban. She added that INTACH would also work to promote heritage tourism.

She said, "Following hectic lobbying by INTACH, the state government had issued a notification in May this year announcing that no heritage building that was more that 100 years' old or more could be altered even after taking permission from the deputy commissioner concerned. The deputy commissioners have also been directed to take the advice of heritage and archaeological experts while approving any change in heritage buildings."

Malvika alleged that despite the government notification, many heritage buildings were being altered or tempered with without consulting experts. Recently, the Devi Kothi temple in Chamba, a protected heritage building, was defaced at the behest of a local politician, she said.

She said that besides protecting heritage buildings, INTACH would also promote heritage tourism in the state.

"Himachal has immense scope for heritage tourism. There are a large number of temples, forts and heritage buildings in the state. Unfortunately, many of them have already been lost. It is heartening that the Union Government has approved a project of Rs 1,400 crore to protect the historical temples of Bilaspur, which have submerged in the Gobind Sagar lake. We are also trying that the Bathu ki Lari temples that were submerged in the Pong Dam lake are also conserved," she added.

She thanked Governor RV Arlekar for taking keen interest in the conservation of heritage buildings.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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