On the eve of the three day long Baisakhi festival when one portion of the Mubarak Mandi heritage complex was decorated in different hues of festival lights almost all the newspapers and TV channels flashed colourful images of the complex on their front pages and TV screens.
On the other side of the lit up complex, stood crumbled structures of the same heritage complex sending a grim reminder to the political establishment at the helm that half hearted measures can fetch accolades for the time being but unless serious efforts are made to restore the pristine glory of the iconic monument the whole exercise would remain futile.
In the recent years a whole campaign was built around restoration of the Heritage complex and Mubarak Mandi Heritage society was also carved out to facilitate the restoration work.
A portion of the heritage complex building was restored after spending around 4 crores but majority portion of it continue to face the neglect at the hands of the same authorities as the project is moving at snails pace.
On its part the state government claims that a whopping sum of Rs 50 crore has been released under the 13 Finance Commission to develop Mubarak Mandi as grand heritage centre but on ground zero nothing much has changed till date.
Large number of local residents who visited the complex during the festival and tried to absorb themselves in the surroundings failed to do so. The images of crumbling structures overlapped with the lit up portion of the complex.
Every where they went they could see only picture of neglect. The entry gates of the Mubarak Mandi complex were in bad shape. Every where hand bills and wall graffiti was pasted pasted with scant regards towards the heritage value of the structure.
The authorities before organising such festivals should take care of peoples sentiments attached with the complex and spare some extra effort to make sure the surroundings look neat and clean.
Not only the authorities the local citizens and NGO’s working on the project are equally to be blamed as they prefer doing lip service over discharging their prime duties.
Despite running awareness campaigns on different media the citizens too have failed to come to the rescue of the heritage building and continue to spoil the surroundings.
The entire compound is used as parking lot by the local denizens and efforts made to decongest the area have proved futile. The residents also spread litter by dumping garbage in the close vicinity of the complex.
In the days to come the authorities need to pull up their socks ahead of starting second phase of restoration work so as to realise the dream of restoring the glory of the Mubarak Mandi Heritage complex.