Row erupts over changes in Chamba heritage building

Row erupts over changes in Chamba heritage building

2022-03-21 01:33:49

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, March 20

A heritage building declared as protected in Chamba town by the Himachal Government is being “tampered with”. Recently, the local authorities changed the facade of the Sham Singh Hospital, a protected building. It was done so for some civil changes in front of the building for the erection of a machinery.

The new construction being undertaken at present. Tribune photo

Vijay Sharma, a Padma Shri awardee and Kangra painting expert, in a letter to Deputy Commissioner DC Rana, has stated that the Sham Singh Hospital is a heritage building. As per the rules, no new construction shall be allowed on its premises.

The rules also state that no addition or alteration shall be allowed in heritage buildings, except repairs to the old structure, and that too with proper architectural guidance and permission from the competent authorities. “Civil works being carried out in the Sham Singh Hospital are in violation of rules and regulations notified by the Himachal Government for heritage buildings of Chamba town,” Sharma has stated in the letter.

The DC said the hospital was temporarily housing the Chamba medical college. Recently, MRI and CT Scan machines were installed there. Now, a generator set was being installed in front area of the hospital. There was no other space available in the hospital for installing the generator set. No building was being damaged as the generator was being installed in the front area of the hospital, he added.

Sharma said the Akhand Chandi palace, which is also a heritage building, had been given to the Chamba medical college for classes of students. The authorities changed the entire structure of the palace, including its flooring and other old architecture. A petition was moved before the Himachal High Court, directing authorities to vacate the heritage building within an year. But even after more than a year, the building had not been vacated, he added.

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