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Brick dust in restoration work damaging heritage value of Gagron fort

‘Heritage paintings in Jhalawar garh rubbed off with flint paper’

Udaipur : Activist are concerned over the ongoing restoration work at heritage monuments in Jhalawar  specially at fort Gagronwhich is one among the six iconic forts in the state featuring in the Unesco’s World Heritage sites. The restoration and maintenance work which have been carrying on for quite some time is defacing its heritage value and the material being used for the repair would not provide strength to the age old building, claim activists. Also at the Jhalawar garh, another heritage building here,  many wall paintings of artistic importance have been cleared off with flint paper and new paintings have been made. “ Every zone or area has its indigenous building practice and style. Here in this part of the state, the buildings have a creamy texture not the pink tinge that is seen at Jaipur. However, the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Jaipur has awarded the restoration work to contractors who are unmindfully using brick dust” Rajrishi Singh Hada, former convener of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Kota chapter, told Udaipur Kiran.

In Jaipur, powdered brick is used in constructions that lends the pink colour to the buildings. However, the archaeology department is adopting the same technique to restore monuments in Jhalawar, not realizing that every area has its peculiar architectural culture and locally available material are best suited to the construction requirements. The local practice had been of using mortar that is prepared by the mixture of sand grain with lime powdered in stone crusher known as ‘Gharat’ in local language. “ The world heritage Gagron  fort that has withstood the climatic conditions for centuries may not retain its strength for long with such practices. We have many times written to the archaeology department but they haven’t paid heed” Hada said. Sources claim, use of brick dust have not been prevalent in Hadoti region, however, with centralized contract system in practice, the constructors prefer brick dust for building material as they are low in cost and economical.


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