January 29, 2018 1:20:05 am
In May last year, after a 10-year struggle, the Department of Archaeology and Museums of Haryana took control of Nahan Kothi for its restoration work. But till date, no changes have been made to the 160-year-old building, the only remnant of 19th century British architecture in Panchkula.
With no renovation or whitewash done in years and trees growing through walls, the building, which was declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2007 and was home to Panchkula’s consumer forum since November 20, 1997 is still in bad shape due to which the consumer court was finally shifted to Sector 14, Panchkula, in 2017.
The structure which is located in Sector 12-A, Panchkula finds its name in the brochure of the archeology department and Haryana Tourism’s website as a “tourist spot”. It was supposed to be restored and opened for tourists but the condition of the building speaks against it.
According to Haryana tourism’s website, “Nahan Kothi was built by Surjan and Bir Singh, the sons of Raja Fateh Singh (1857-63 AD), the ruler of Sirmour State. This region including Morni and other adjoining hilly areas of Haryana was then under the jurisdiction of Sirmour State, the capital of this state was Nahan (Himachal Pradesh), hence the name Nahan Kothi was given to this building. It was generally used by the rulers to keep watch on the activities of their territory.”
The Director-General of Archaeology and Museums Department, Haryana, Dr Praveen Kumar said, “Right now, Nahan Kothi is not on our list of priorities for restoration. We have a small budget and for now we are focusing on other constructions in the state. It is not that we haven’t been taking care of it as there is always a caretaker present at the building. No renovation has been contemplated at present and any measures which will be taken will be done after March of 2018. We have it in consideration but since it is not too major a structure, steps have not been taken yet.”
He also mentioned that it was necessary to take control of it as to use the building in its present condition was dangerous. The archaeological department, however, has prevented chances of any accidents at the building by closing it down.
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