Renovation of Ram Pyari Mahal under way – Newspaper

GUJRAT: The front portion of the Ram Pyari Mahal, one of the few majestic pre-Partition buildings in Gujrat, is being speedily renovated by the archaeology department to transform it into a museum and art gallery. It is likely to be opened to the public within a month.

In the first phase, the front portion is being repaired and renovated. In the second phase, the rear portion of the building will be transformed into a tea house or coffee shop in collaboration with the district administration, said an official of the archaeology department.

Imran Zahid, an engineer with the department, told Dawn that the main focus was to launch the museum at the earliest, as the required staff had been recruited. There would be six galleries in the museum depicting the local art and culture, including the portraits of local heroes, folklores through display of statues of renowned figures, coins as well as a public library.

Asked why the project of transforming the palace into a museum took more than a decade to execute, Zahid said the recruitment of staff was the main hurdle, which had now been completed.

Earlier, the local administration had included the restoration of Ram Piyari Mahal in the ‘Explore Gujrat’ programme in connection with the Clean and Green Punjab Initiative of the government for which at least 30 historical sites in the district had been selected for renovation.

Ram Pyari was the third wife of Sundar Das Chopra, a contractor of Dingah Town, about 55 kilometres from Gujrat, who got this building constructed for his wife in the second decade of the 20th century. The road that passes by the building was previously known as Ram Pyari Road, but was later renamed Circular Road and now it passes by the Sohni Bazaar of pottery and ceramics

Continue Reading

Renovation of historic St Patrick’s Cathedral in full swing – Newspaper

KARACHI: With the renovation work going on at the historic St Patrick’s Cathedral, you see poles, steel bars, marble slabs, stone and other construction material outside the cathedral and monument. A banner in a corner says: ‘Work in progress. No entry. Sorry for the inconvenience’.

There is a group of people, the men in fine suits and women in pretty nylon dresses, waiting under a tree near the monument. There is also a white car with rolled up dark windows parked nearby with its engine running, probably for the AC.

“They are a wedding party,” explains Reverend Father Saleh Diego, the parish rector and also the vicar general for Karachi as he shows you around the cathedral grounds.

The renovation and repairs are being carried out by the Sindh Heritage Department.

Built some 176 years ago as a small chapel at first, the historic St Patrick’s Cathedral has remained a testament of time. The last time it saw some repairs was around 20 to 25 years ago.

About the current work, Father Diego says that it has been going on since around Christmas last year. The coronavirus pandemic also caused intermittent breaks though the parish priests are quite satisfied with the work. “Whatever we bring to the knowledge of the engineers about the building, they understand well. They are working with passion, also studying old pics of the place while doing the restoration work. We are quite satisfied with their work as they are making plenty of sense,” says Father Diego.

He says that after working on the roof of the cathedral and replacing some old stones in the walls that need to be replaced along with working on strengthening the foundations of the structures requiring a new drainage system to not allow groundwater to accumulate underneath, they are going

Continue Reading

LWMC yet to begin hiring of contractors as incumbents’ terms near end – Newspaper

LAHORE: With only three months till the expiry of the thrice-extended contract in December, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has so far been unable, or is unwilling, to initiate the process for hiring contractors to keep the city clean – a procedure that may take at least six months and another few for the new contractors to mobilise machine and manpower.

This delay leaves around six months to a year uncovered between the end of current contracts and new ones coming into effect (qualification, bidding, evaluation and winning), and then charge taken on ground, unless the company plans to extend the existing contracts – many potential bidders fear that the delay has been deliberate to serve vested interests.

Company officials insist that the uncovered period would only be three months. But their claim contains two unverifiable hypotheses: the process would start immediately, and the new contractor be given only two months to mobilise resources.

City may become ‘filth depot’ for at least six months if delay persists

However, ground realities belie both claims. Even the documentation has not started yet, considering the current contractors took 14 months to take charge: the contract was signed on Nov 3, 2011 and phased mobilisation completed in January and February 2013 – when formal commencement of the contract started.

“Even if the process takes three months, the city will be converted into a filth depot within just a few days and trouble will compound with each passing hour,” says a former employee of the company.

The two international contractors currently operating – AlBayrak and Oz Pak – have been removing six tonnes of solid waste daily. When 40 per cent of the machinery of one of the contractors went out of operation, the entire city was stinking. Their original seven-year contracts expired early

Continue Reading