Paucity of funds hits reconstruction work of Dastageer Sahab (RA) shrine


Paucity of funds has affected the reconstruction work of Dastageer Sahab (RA) shrine in Downtown here. 
Despite passing of five years, since the fire engulfed Dastageer Sahab (RA) shrine, the state government has even failed to reconstruct washrooms which are in dilapidated condition.
“Despite tall claims of authorities, even washrooms outside the shrine premises are in dilapidated conditions as a result of which devotees are failing lot of problems,” said Muhammad Ismail, a caretaker.
“We have pleaded before authorities to complete reconstruction of the shrine, but from last five years they are using dilly-dally tactics,” said Bashir Ahmad adding that “if government doesn’t have funds they should tell us clearly so that we can arrange it ourselves.”
“There is no place of devotees to even to do ablution,” they said.
As per the caretakers at the shrine they have also sent communiqué to the divisional commissioner Kashmir summarizing the problems being confronted by them and devotees who come from far flung areas to pay obeisance at the shrine.
“We have urged divisional commissioner to take action against the vendors who have occupied the road outside the shrine which is hampering the movement of devotees,” they said.
The 250-year old Dastgeer Sahab (RA) shrine – built in honour of eleventh century sufi saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) in Downtown area of summer capital is awaiting completion of reconstruction, despite  promises by the state government after the fire incident to reconstruct the shrine as per its past glory.
Officials said that the estimated cost of the reconstruction work was put at Rs 16 crore. The government had allotted the construction and renovation work to J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC).
“However, six years down the line, the reconstruction work is yet to be completed,” said a senior official adding that “ government is not serious in getting the work completed, otherwise the reconstruction and renovation of revered shrine would have been completed long ago.”
JKPCC officials however put onus on government for failing to release funds on time for timely completion of the works. General manager, JKPCC, Vakar Shonthu blamed paucity of funds for delay in completion of the reconstruction work at Dastageer Sahab (RA) shrine.
“The estimated cost of reconstruction of gutted shrine was put at Rs 16 crore out of which government has not released 4 crore which has delayed reconstruction work of the shrine,” he said.
“Besides another Rs 1 crore is required for the construction of Noor Khana for which funds have not been released yet,” he said.
It may be recalled that soon after massive fire tragedy in June 2012, the then coalition government of NC-Congress at that time had promised to give priority to restore the shrine to its architectural glory with a blend of traditional and modern Islamic architecture within the stipulated period of two years.

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