Gujranwala, August 13
Owing to the Pakistan Government’s continuous negligence of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s ancestral ‘haveli’ in Gujranwala city of Pakistan, the roof of the structure collapsed on Friday.
A portion of the ‘haveli’ of “Sher-e-Punjab” Maharaja Ranjit Singh collapsed in spite of the authorities declaring it safe a few days ago and planning to convert it into a historical tourism site. The Assistant Commissioner of the district had visited the ‘haveli’ along with officials of departments concerned and declared it completely safe. It was announced that it would be open for tourists, especially for Sikhs from India.
“Sher-e-Punjab” Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first maharaja of the Sikh Empire, was born in this house on November 13, 1780. The haveli holds great significance for Sikhs around the world. In the late 18th century, it was likely surrounded by more greenery and open spaces, but today it stands in an extremely crowded environment surrounded by illegally built makeshift dwellings. In a video shared by locals, the heritage property, which once reflected the wealth and eminence of Ranjit Singh’s father Mahan Singh, is now in a shambles.
The building has been declared a protected heritage building by the Pakistan Archaeology Department, but officials rarely visit it. The Pakistan Government has allocated funds for its restoration many a time, but they remain unutilised.
There were reports that the government converted an area of the ‘haveli’ into a dump yard and its lower section was being used as a police station for a long time after Partition. “In 2012, the ground floor of the haveli was converted into shops for vegetable vendors,” a report said. —ANI
Victim of negligence
- There were reports that the government converted an area of the haveli, where the Maharaja was born on November 13, 1780, into a dump yard and its lower section was being used as a police station for a long time after Partition
- It was reported that a portion of the haveli was converted into shops for vegetable vendors and its main stairway was being used as a parking lot
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