Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Parts of Palakkad Fort, Kerala need to be repaired and restored soon!!

Palakkad fort, Kerala
Because of negligence  lack of interest in historical monument  on the part of both central and state governments no adequate steps are taken to repair, restore and maintain  lots of heritage sites scattered across India.  In many places they are in a poor state facing gradual crumbling.   In some sites controlled by the ASI - Archaeological society of India  the state government offices functioning there are  quite lethargic to move out to facilitate repair and restoration work to be done  by the ASI.  The attitude of the state government in some parts is very much against the spirit of conservation of sIndia'ainvaluable heritage sites and this will push the monuments into a wretched state  beyond which redemption is impossible. The historical fort called Palakkad Fort, Palakkad city, Kerala  is  a good example  to show how the state government is playing hide and seek with the ASI who  wants the state government offices to move out so that they can carry out the restoration work on the poorly maintained fort. 

That the medieval fort at Palakkad continues to remain in a  poor condition is a sad story with respect this historical heritage site. Though the  present custodian, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),  made efforts through  the Palakkad District Collector to immediately relocate major State government offices functioning within the complex, they are yet to move out.  A Taluk supply office, special sub-jail, tahsildar office and an office of land reforms have occupied part of the fort complex and they have been there for a pretty long time. The jail portion is in bad condition and the jail inmates, numbering 130  are facing hardship. This is a case of human rights violation.
Palakkad Fort. The Hindu
Monuments freaks and historians continue to protest against the occupation of state govt. offices in a heritage site, but no action was forth-coming from the state government represented by the collector. The good news is the ASI after taking possession of the fort  restored most parts of the structure apart  to convert it into one of the major tourism destination in the State. The parts,  where the state govt. offices are functioning,
  are in a dilapidated state, as they maintain them so poorly that  they have become an eyesore. So, this necessitates immediate restoration work. Basically, unlike many Indian state governments, the Kerala government gives due priority  to conservation of monuments. Their careless attitude regarding Palakkad fort has surprised me. However, it is to be admitted that the District Collector is making efforts along with higher ups to vacate the fort complex as early as possible. In February 2016,  it was said that that the offices would soon move out. Nothing has happened so far.  
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ASI-seeks-relocation-of-govt.-offices-from-Palakkad-fort/article14500851.ece