Most of the monuments in the city are rotting for want of funds. The Department of Archaeology and Museums has admitted as much in response to a series of articles in these columns.
The department is waiting for release of 12 and 13 Finance Commission grants to take up the restoration works. According to B. Srinivas, Director, Archaeology and Museums, an amount of Rs. 45 lakh is proposed under the 13 Finance Commission for taking up restoration works of Paigah tombs. A detailed project report for restoring stucco, jalli work and the peeling plaster had been readied and would be grounded after release of funds.
About the Badshahi Ashoorkhana, Mr. Srinivas said two proposals for a sum of Rs. 46.83 lakh and Rs. 70 lakh had been sent to the government to take up immediate repair work. “After receipt of funds steps will be taken to provide public amenities, fire equipment and face lifting works to the structure,” he said. This only proves that the flaws pointed out in the story are correct.
Similarly, the department listed out steps proposed to provide sufficient amenities like cool water kiosks, landscaping and street lights to visitors at the Qutb Shahi Tombs once funds are received.
About the State Museum, the department said the poor turnout was because of the APTDC buses not covering the Public Gardens where the museum is situated. A request had been made to the APTDC to include the Dr. YSR State Museum in its city tour package. Moreover, there was restriction on entry of private tourist buses and general tourists since the museum is located in the State Assembly security zone.
The department felt there could be no comparison between the Salar Jung Museum and the State Museum since the former was an autonomous body with adequate funds at its disposal while the budget allocated to the State Museum was ‘meagre'.
The Tourism Department had invited applications for guide training and some of them would be deployed at the State Museum. Basic amenities like drinking water and toilets were available. While galleries like Contemporary Art Pavilion and Buddhist Relic Casket are air-conditioned, due to low voltage the AC is not functioning.
Further, the department proposed to go in for a separate chamber for the Egyptian mummy as suggested by Dr. Tarek –el-Awady, director, Scientific Research in Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt.