LAHORE - A deserted look of the tomb of great Mughal Emperor Aurangzebs eldest daughter, Zeb-un-Nissa, one of the totally ignored monuments in the City, situated at Samanabad Chowk, is an ample proof of the least interest on the part of authorities concerned in preserving the historical monuments that make an integral part of our national heritage.
An official disclosed on Wednesday that ironically the government was funding almost Rs 1.2 million annually for the preservation of 120 monuments in Punjab, so for the maintenance of each monument a meagre amount of Rs 25 per day was being allocated as per day.
Inscribed work on the walls of the tomb like fresco paintings, calligraphy and Mughals architectural style is deteriorating with the passage of time. A part of the recent renovated floor has also failed to attract attention of the visitors owing to use of the place by vendors and vagabonds for their respite. The foundation pillars and the floor inside and outside the tomb present the look of a war-hit place.
Amin Ahmad, a visitor of Zeb-un-Nissa tomb said the monument was breathing its last, as the ongoing preservation work was quite insufficient for such a great memorial. He said people were so unfamiliar with the architectural history of Lahores monuments that most of the visitors considered some monuments including this tomb as temples.
An official disclosed that only one guard was deployed at the tomb who performed eight hours duty. The inhabitants of the locality throw garbage around the tomb. By this very behaviour of public as well as the government one can easily understand how much we are careful about the preservation of our historical places, he added.
Director Archaeology of Federal Government Saleem-ul-Haq said the department might be successful in restoring the original beauty of historical places in a specific timeframe provided the government provides Rs o.5m for renovation of each big monument. 'No doubt the govt was facing bitter challenges but we have to take rapid and radical steps by providing maximum funds for the preservation of historical sites, he added. He also requested the visitors to avoid wall-chalking and throwing garbage in the jurisdiction of the tomb.
The main hurdle is the allocation of funds, otherwise we have sufficient support by the renowned archaeologists and technical experts, another official commented.
Aurangzebs close companion for several years, Zeb-un-Nissa, had sound education in arts, languages, astronomy and sciences of that time. She was born in 1638 to Dilras Bano of the Persian Safavid dynasty. She remained bachelor and devoted her whole life for spiritual Sufi quest.