30 million rupees restoration work for few cracks of antique Islamia College, right hand three restored domes are of very light colour and they are uneven and showing bulges
To Whom It May Concern
It is heartening to see that government is spending billions of rupees on reconstruction and restoration of national heritage buildings and they are doing it in the middle of shattering limbs and exploding bombs.
We are going to discuss destruction of the originality of one of the most important building of Pakistan, whose image is present at old 100 rupees currency bill of our country.
We are talking about Islamia college " University " of Peshawar whose original brick buildings and surrounding trees and landscapes have seriously been jeopardized after involvement of money loaded Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Higher Education Commission is very fond of spending money, producing new universities and churning out Job less PhDs without applying the theories they teach to millions.
While world is talking about climate change and global warming and water table of Major Pakistani cities is dropping at the approx. rate of 20 feet per year, HEC is busy building concrete drawing rooms and rest houses among catchment areas and green areas like Khanas pur and Ayubia etc..
To understand this issue a bit better , we will have to recall our short term memories.
Three years ago, conservationists gathered at the residence of Ms Maureen Lines of University Town Peshawar.
Participants enjoyed sumptuous meals , expensive drinks and warm hospitality of Ms Lines.
Some members suggested that along with high gentry of University town, those students and staff of universities should also be involved in the conservation process who have natural aptitude for trees, heritage and aesthetics etc.
During that meeting, Government's conservation manual was also distributed and discussed which requires that originality and antiquity of sites to be restored will be protected at all costs.
Conservation manual prohibited government officials from making experiments on priceless and irreplaceable heritage sites.
We are sorry to say that guidelines and conservation principles laid down in Government's building codes and manuals are not being honoured.
Site in-charge of the contractor who is restoring Islamia college building has no previous experience and he has MA degree in Urdu.
Photos attached with this message will tell us that colours of all the restored domes are different from each other and big domes / Copulas visible on the right hand side are of extremely light colour.
Masons employed from Punjab were unable to show exemplary workmanship and they couldn't`t rebuild contours and curves of the domes.
Bulges and unevenness of right hand side three domes is visible from different angles.
Please note that some local masons of NWFP have built extremely proportional and symmetrical domes of some of the newly built mosques and other grand structures of this province.
Photos of leftovers of the original stairs is also attached which had curvy sides which were flowing to the bottom as integral part of the original architecture and double pointed arches of the verandahs.
Now they have built square edged marble stairs which do not blend with the original character / mood of the building.
Photo of the white mosque of Islamia college is also attached whose original lime mortar is being completely removed by the contractor.
Original lime mortar of the mosque had intricate carved floral patterns and especially roof domes have very symmetrical and skillfully built doubles curves.
Keeping in view the results produced by the contractor on simple curves of the main building, we are afraid that contractors will not be able to reproduce symmetry, and fineness of the double curves of the mosque's domes.
One official on the condition of anonymity disclosed that due to high profit margins, Executive Engineer is focusing on marble installation and simplicity and grace of the original buildings are being sacrificed.
Made in England Brass / porcelain electric switches and ceiling fans of the college were removed few years ago.
College mosque still has very expensive antique imported ceiling fans which need to be catalogued and protected by the concerned authorities.
Stuffed tiger which was present in the college is also missing along with various other historic items.
This is my humble report and we expect from the concerned quarters that they will maintain originality and historic touches of the old sites with least expenditure and minimum alterations.
Thanks and regards,