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June 2019

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Govt urged to restore, preserve prehistoric rock art in Nilgiris vandalised by tourists

INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), Nilgiris chapter, has sought the intervention of the district administration to bring the rock art located at Parivarai in the forest area near Karikaiyur village in Kilkotagiri under the supervision of the state archaeology department and have the heritage site cordoned off. A representation to the collector said the prehistoric rock art had been partly vandalized by miscreants over a period of time. And it is high time the government took some concrete action to preserve the heritage site.

The rock art is believed to be done by local tribes and it depicts their lifestyle. According to sources, to earn money, the villagers themselves take trekkers, tourists and research scholars to the site. S Suresh, Tamil Nadu state convener, INTACH, told TOI, “The rock paintings at Parivarai is definitely prehistoric and may be as old as 10,000 BC and could be comparable to the famous prehistoric rock and tribal art in Madhya Pradesh.” “When I visited the site 15 years ago, graffiti was already there on the paintings. It is difficult to reach the site. That there is more damage to the paintings indicates more people are visiting the site,” he said. The site is 7km inside the forest near Karikaiyur, a Kurumba village. According Suresh, the painting comprises some 500 images of humans and animals.

The style, using red and white in wet colour technique is similar to that found in Madhya Pradesh, one of the oldest rock paintings in the country. “There are theories that right from the Stone Age, tribes lived in the Nilgiris,” he said. Without the help of the local tribals, one cannot reach the rock face which is 300ft high and 500ft long. A deep valley lies below the rock, making it inaccessible. “Visitors have vandalised the site by writing names or symbols on the paintings,” said a local source.

Stating that it is a key evidence of a prehistoric civilization, Suresh said, “The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the Tamil Nadu State Archeology Department should take action to preserve the site. They should declare the site as a protected area. Otherwise, the prehistoric art cannot be saved.” The graffiti could be safely removed using chemicals under expert supervision. J Innocent Divya, Nilgiris collector told TOI: “Based on the representation by INTACH-Nilgiris chapter, a letter was sent to the state archaeology department a month ago. The matter will be pursued in the interest of the Nilgiris and its oldest civilization.”

- https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/govt-urged-to-restore-preserve-prehistoric-rock-art-in-nilgiris-vandalised-by-tourists/articleshow/69640245.cms, June 3, 2019

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19 historic buildings to be preserved in Delhi

With all requisite approvals and budgetary provisions in place, conservation of 19 lesser-known historic buildings, which belong to the state archaeology department, will begin by end of this month. The plan was approved about a year ago and the nod for preparation for the detail project report (DPR) was also given. The list of structures picked for conservation includes eight unidentified tombs, three nameless mosques-- in Mehrauli near Jahaz Mahal, RK Puram (in a government school) and Delhi Golf Club and an ancient building in Nangal Devat Village in southwest Delhi for protection work. The mausoleums, which are not widely known, are located in Lado Sarai, Vasant Vihar, Sundar Nagar, Savitri Nagar, Kaka Nagar, Delhi Golf Club premises and one is located inside Blind School Lodi Road Flyover. Other significant structures to be preserved are Kharbooze ka Gumbad, two burjs (towers) of Mansur, tombs of Mir Taqi, Sayyid Abid, Baghichi and a minaret in Hastsal Village.

“All necessary approvals have been accorded and the work will begin at 19 monuments this month,” Vikas Maloo, Head of Office (Archaeology), Delhi government, said.The department has roped in Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for the conservation and restoration work. According to senior Delhi government officials, privy to the matter, the project will cost around Rs 7 crore. “Work could not begin on these monuments due to various reasons. It took us long to seek technical and financial approval from the departments concerned. Later, the project could not take off as the model code of conduct (for the Lok Sabha elections) came into effect. However, all necessary procedures have now been completed,” an official said. Conservation of each structure will cost around Rs 20-Rs 25 lakh depending on their size and area, he added. The conservation bid is part of the department of archaeology’s ambitious project for restoration of historically important buildings in the national capital launched almost 11 years ago.The department had identified 238 structures for their phase-wise preservation and conservation. It signed a pact with INTACH for this purpose in 2008.

Since then, it has taken up repair of about 18 buildings each year. So far, 50 historically significant edifices, including tombs, baolis, and sarais, have been restored. The selection of buildings for preservation is based on recommendations from the offices of lieutenant-governor and chief minister, said the official.Explaining the scope of the work, the official said, “At monuments in Delhi Golf Club, the project is interesting as there is lot of art work.

After surface cleaning, stucco and medallion artwork are to be conserved. Cement plaster will be replaced with the traditional lime plaster, if any. To stop water seepage, water of ceiling is to be done and plinth of protection of the surrounding is also part of the project.” 11 years in the making

The conservation bid is part of the department of archaeology’s ambitious project for restoration of historically important buildings in the national capital launched almost 11 years ago. The department had identified 238 structures for their phase-wise preservation.

- http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2019/jun/02/19-historic-buildings-to-be-preserved-in-delhi-1984776.html, June 3, 2019

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Flora Fountain Mumbai: Landscaping at final stage, fountain plaza to be fully open in a month

The restoration work is being carried out by INTACH Mumbai Chapter along with INTACH Conservation Institute.” According to the heritage team, the restoration contract will cost Rs 1.73 crore while the beautification contract will cost Rs 2.42 crore. The plaza work includes specially cut basalt stones from Gujarat and facade lighting from Japan. In a month’s time, the iconic Flora Fountain, where the landscaping work is in its final stages, will be fully accessible to public after a two-year restoration. AdvertisingThe Flora Fountain was unveiled in January this year when the first phase of its restoration ended.

- https://www.nyoooz.com/news/mumbai/1368045/flora-fountain-mumbai-landscaping-at-final-stage-fountain-plaza-to-be-fully-open-in-a-month/, June 3, 2019

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Push to get Mauryan-age wall at Rajgir, UNESCO heritage status

The Bihar archaeology department has recommended to the ASI that the Mauryan age fortification wall at Rajgir should be included in the list of the UNESCO sites. Efforts are being made to get Cyclopean wall, a more than 2,500 years old structure at Rajgir, as UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a letter sent to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) a few weeks ago, the Bihar archaeology department has recommended that the Mauryan age fortification wall should be included in the list of the UNESCO sites and has requested the ASI to forward the proposal to the UNESCO.

The directorate has also explained that the 40 km long wall which encircled the entire city of Rajgriha in ancient times, was erected by the Mauryans over a period of time to protect Magadhan kingdom from invaders and enemies and though only some portions of the structure exist now, it reminds one of the great administrative abilities of the mighty Magadhan empire and that it deserves to get the world heritage monument status. The Cyclopean wall which is already a nationally protected monument under the ASI, drew attention for UNESCO status when CM Nitish Kumar visited the site during one of his visits to the Rajgir in November 2017. It was announced there that government would take efforts to bring this structure among the UNESCO sites.

Hardly a few months before chief minister’s Rajgir visit that year, ruins of the ancient age Nalanda University were declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO while the Mahabodhi temple, the site where Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya had achieved this status in June 2002. “It’s great that state government has initiated the work to get fortification wall in UNESCO list. Two monuments of the state, the Mahabodhi and Nalanda University ruins are already in this list and if the new initiatives get materialised, the region will have three world heritage monuments,” H S Naik, superintending archaeologist, Patna Circle, ASI, said.

“This time also state archaeology has been consulting with the facts and details of the fortification wall and has provided us a copy of proposal as well. If things materialise and it makes into the tentative list, we will work together to prepare the dossier needed for the final declaration,” he said. Atul Kumar Verma, the state archaeology director said, the department had this structure in mind for the recommendation to be made for UNESCO status. “The Great Wall of China is already in the list and for this wall it was chief minister’s announcement which put it on the priority list,” he said.

First there’s an effort for the tentative list. There already exist over 50 (recommended by the countries from around the world) monuments and sites and only one piece is chosen from that tentative list in a year for the world status by UNESCO, he added. “We had submitted the Rajgir proposal to the ASI in April this year and are now waiting for the response,” he said.

- https://www.hindustantimes.com/patna/push-to-get-mauryan-age-wall-at-rajgir-unesco-heritage-status/story-VDKVpkGWdqsNmq6j83HE7H.html, June 4, 2019

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World Environment Day observed across Nagaland

Leading the commemoration of World Environment Day 2019, a large number of educational institutions in different parts of Nagaland organized awareness programme and tree plantation drive on June 4 and 5. Various NGOs and other organizations also observed the day under the theme ‘Air Polluting.’

GMS Trongar: The Eco Club of Government Middle School Trongar ‘A’ under Tuensang district observed World Environment Day with the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’ in collaboration with Nagaland Pollution Control Board at the School premises. The resource materials like banners and bookmarks which were given by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board for awareness were distributed to the students. Plantation drive was conducted within the school campus.

CEC School: World Environment Day was commemorated at Community Education Centre School, Dimapur. The students of CEC School enjoyed pot-making organized by the arts and crafts club. The school also organized other activities such as quiz, drawing and essay competition to sensitize the students. Chakhesang Mission HSS: Chakhesang Mission Higher Secondary, T. Chikri, Pfutsero observed World Environment Day with the theme ‘Air Pollution.’

The program was chaired by Chepre Tsido, PG. Teacher followed by prayer and the speech on the theme was delivered by Mululü Tunyi. In order to create awareness among the students’ community, the school conducted the activities such as arts and painting, poster making and planting trees in the school premises. The teachers along with some students also took part in cleaning the school surroundings.

Charis High Academy: Schools from Chümoukedima participated in various competitions organized and hosted by Charis High Academy on World Environment Day. The administrator C J Aier of the school enlightened the students and teachers about this year’s theme ‘Air Pollution.’ The competition began with collage making, painting, flower arrangement (both dry and fresh).

One of the most exciting event of the day was mobile videography under the theme ‘environmental issues and solutions.’ The school gave away cash prizes for the winners and the runners up and certificates for the all the participants. Debate was the closing event of the day under the theme ‘environmental damage is an inevitable part of development.’ A food festival was also hosted by the Eco club of the school.

The programme concluded with the distribution of bamboo saplings donated by Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency, Dimapur to all participating schools.

Bethesda HSS: Bethesda Hr. Sec. Sec. School, Dimapur commemorated the World Environment Day with painting competition, skits, seminar, and social work with the theme ‘Air Pollution’ on June 4. It will be continued with musical dance, skits, and songs on environment from senior group.

Woodland HSS: The 25th NL (I) COY Woodland Higher Secondary School Boys NCC along with the rest of the students observed the World Environment Day. The programme started with a short speech from the school Vice Principal on the topic ‘Beat Air Pollution.’ the NCC Cadets and the students planted different types of tree saplings around the school compound and outside the school compound. The students also carried out cleanliness drive and cleaned up the school surrounding areas.

More than 40 NCC Boys Cadets and 200 Students from Higher classes participated in the programme. Pfutsero Government College: Pfutsero Government College observed World Environment Day with the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution and Save the Earth’ at the college by conducting a paper bag making training. The programme organized by Pfutsero Town Council in collaboration with NSS, Pfutsero Government College was graced by the ADC Pfutsero Zeniekhonou Zumvu. The resource persons for the paper bag making training were from Phek Youth Society. Nuyi Hoshi, Convnere Clean Green Operation, Phek Town Youth Society (PTYS) spoke on the occasion and he was accompanied with Vice President PTYS Seyiengoi Soho, Project Incharge Thonga Mulekho Chuzho, and Amen Jamir and Nuzotolu Thonga Worker.

Free registration, materials and certificates were given to all the participants. Earlier, the college students planted flowers and cleaned the college surrounding to commemorate the day.

Peren Government College: The Peren Government College observed the World Environment Day in the College on June 5 by organizing social work and planting trees in the present campus.

MGM College: MGM College Dimapur observed World Environment Day with the theme ‘Air pollution.’ The event was conducted at the college auditorium with participation from the students community on topics related to Air Pollution. Competitions such as essay, art and slogans was conducted, followed by debate on the topic ‘Development vs Environment.’

MGM HSS: MGM Hr Sec School observed World Environment Day. Headmaster of the school, B.Paul addressing the students stated that for a healthy life it is our prime duty to keep our surroundings pollution free and take proper measures to keep our environment neat and clean. Students from high school and higher secondary participated in several activities like speech, dramas and songs.

NN Nagi School: NN Nagi School, Dimapur observed World Environment Day with the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’ at the school premises. Marking the special day, the School organized rare projects activities on how to combat air pollution and plantation drive around the school premises. Exhorting the students, Nibu Nagi, chairman of the school, urged student to strive to protect and conserve environment.

Thejanguno Kin Nagi, Assistant Headmistress, said, the school authority motivated the students to plant more and more trees in order to combat not only air pollution but also to contribute something back to the environment. Later, the school made Projects on “Cause and prevention of air pollution.”

St John College: A three day celebration to mark world environment day 2019 at St John College began on June 4 guided by the Department of Botany and Eco Club. On day 1, students commenced a general awareness programme highlighting the importance of conserving nature and minimising air pollution by presenting posters and placards. On the 2nd day students and staff spend time working in the botanical garden and other areas of the campus planting saplings, while on the 3rd day further awareness programs shall be carried out along with removal of plastic litter from the college campus.

Reflecting on the 2019 theme of ‘Air Pollution’ all waste gathered shall be disposed in a responsible way avoiding haphazard burning.

Touch of Hope School: Marking World Environment Day, Touch of Hope School in Shokhuvi, Dimapur celebrated the event with the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution.’ Speaking on the occasion, Science teacher Bikash Mandal informed the assembled students about the causes and destructive impacts of air pollution on our lives and environment and encourages students to do their small parts in combating air pollution. Director of the Touch of Hope Ministries, Nungsangmeren planted a tree sapling on the school premises to mark the event and encouraged students to plant more trees in the environment. The school also organized a painting competition and social work in the school campus.

G. Rio School: G. Rio School Kohima undertook cleanliness drive along the streets of Kohima town on June 4 in commemoration of World Environment Day.

Rajeshwari Karuna School: The Rajeshwari Karuna School Tuli, principal along with the teachers initiated the commemoration of the World Environment Day. The school children planted 120 saplings around the school campus.

Royal Foundation School: The Royal Foundation School, Phek commemorated World Environment Day based on the theme ‘Air pollution.’ Highlighting the significance of the day, Mhethowe-u spoke on the danger and harmful effects of air pollution and cited various irrational human activities that pollute the air. A short act displaying the causes and effects of air pollution with the help of pictorial chart was performed by the primary students under the guidance of Veluvolu and Kavili while Class 9 girl students presented a musical performance. The function concluded with a pledge from the students to strive towards a cleaner and healthier environment.

Kohima Law College: With the theme ‘Air Pollution’ the Kohima Law College observed World Environment Day cum social work on June 4. The Professor-in-Charge Kezhokhoto Savi gave the keynote address while other Assistant Professors including Moasenla and Soni stressed on the importance of environment protection and the uncivilized practices which harm human health such as opening septic-tank, keeping pigsty, etc. which are actually an insult to the so called – Kohima Smart City.

LM Higher Secondary School: World Environment Day was observed by the LM higher Secondary School, Mhainamtsi Peren students and staff. Various activities were held including planting of trees and flowers in and around the school campus, filling up of potholes along the highway near the school and cleaning of the areas around the school. A painting competition on the theme ‘plants trees save lives’ was also conducted which had 35 participants from classes 5 to 12. Prizes were awarded to both the seniors and juniors separately.

Immanuel College: Eco Club Immanuel College organised a cleanliness drive, plantation of trees and distribution of plant saplings in and around the College vicinity on account of World Environment Day. A total of 35 Eco Club members participated in the drive and distributed plant saplings to 45 households in Lengrijan, Taxes and Duncan areas. The students also interacted with the neighbours making them aware about the importance of planting trees.

DGC: Dimapur Government College in collaboration with DGC Alumni Association organised a social work and tree plantation program in and around the college campus to commemorate World Environment Day. Teachers, staff, students and alumni gathered in good numbers to clean the surroundings, fence certain portions, and also planted saplings using materials donated by DMC, Forest Departent, Principal and teachers.

JN Aier College: J.N Aier College, Dimapur observed World Environment Day on organized by the NSS Unit & ECO Club of the college. Flex competition was held on this year’s theme ‘Air Pollution’ with Auguste Comte Guardianship declared as the winner of the competition. Limatemjen, Principal of JN Aier College gave a talk on the theme and stressed on the harmful effects of Pollution.

Yemhi Memorial College: The Eco Club, NSS Unit and EVS Department of Yemhi Memorial College, Nepali Basti Dimapur observed World Environment Day on June 4 under the theme ‘Air Pollution.’ The resource person Kezia Yepthomi from Ambedkar University, New Delhi gave a discourse on the impact of human negligence to conserve and preserve the environment with the aid of Power Point presentation and Video Clips. The awareness Campaign was followed by a practical move of cleaning the college campus and the vicinity nearby. Agape School: Agape School Kiphire organised painting competition and social work in the school campus on the occasion of World Environment Day with the theme ‘ Beat Plastic Pollution’.

Speaking at the occasion, Kitoka, teacher incharge, Eco club highlighted the issue faced across the state and country due to air pollution. The eco club members also planted tree in the campus.

GHSS Pfutsero: The Government Higher Secondary School Pfutsero observed World Environment Day 2019 with the theme ‘Beat air pollution.’ The students and staff planted cosmos flowers in the GHSS school compound and carried out cleanliness campaign at Pfutsero town. The teachers and students picked waste in the town and spread the message of clean air environment. The waste collections were later disposed at Pfutsero town waste disposal side. More than 500 teachers and students participated in the cleanliness campaign, according to Kelhikha Kenye, vice principal GHSS Pfutsero.

MMC: The Mokokchung Municipal Council (MMC) observed World Environment Day by organizing various activities in collaboration with a host of groups and organizations. Under the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’, the MMC headed by W. Manpai Phom ADC & Administrator MMC planted trees around MMC Shopping complex, Dr. Imkongliba Memorial District Hospital, District Jail and Imkongmeren Sports Complex. The Mokokchung District Legal Services Authority, Socio Environment Management Board, Aongza and Run Mokokchung Group participated. SDRF of the Nagaland Disaster Management also helped and participated in the different activities.

The various activities included beautification of the interior of MMC Shopping Complex by planting air purifier plants, beautification of commercial places by green plants, conversion of garbage vulnerable points to flower gardens and art work on environment awareness campaign.

Run Mokokchung group also participated by collecting of trash while jogging in the main town area at early morning hours followed by tree plantation at Mokokchung Park.

Trailblazer Society: On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Trailblazer Society committed themselves towards greener community, environment and healthy life. The Society in association with The Maple Tree School and Department of fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Brooder Fish farm, Half Nagarjan, Dimapur planted trees at their premises.

Tzula Green Zone Project: The Tzula (Dikhu) Green Zone Project Management Committee organised a plantation drive at the project site in commemoration of World Environment Day. The plantation drive was volunteered by the Trained Nurses Association of Mokokchung.

Ahthibung Region Club: Nearly 210 participants attended World Environment Day organised by Ahthibung Region Club in Collaboration with Assam Rifles Ahthibung, PS, Ahthibung, PHC-Ahthibung, GHS Ahthibung and Ahthibung Youths and Students Union. The participants planted 55 trees while a talk on the environment was delivered by AR officer. SDO Civil Ahthibung also gave a lecture to GHS Ahthibung students. INTACH Nagaland: On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Nagaland Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture –INTACH, participated in undertaking a tree plantation drive.

Over 150 saplings comprising of shade and ornamental trees were planted in the State Stadium, Dimapur. INTACH Nagaland would like to thank the DSO, Dimapur for giving permission for the plantation drive within the State Stadium, and to the Forest Office, Dimapur, for distributing the tree saplings.

PVYO: The Phek Village Youth Organization (PVYO) in association with Forest Department (DFO) Phek observed World Environment Day on June 5 at Phek Village. Salie Khesoh, class- I contractor was the speaker of the programme and called upon the people to conserve environment for better tomorrow. State Silviculturist: The Office of the State Silviculturist Kohima which is a Division of the Department of Environment Forest and Climate Change, undertook plantation drive at Forest Colony in collaboration with the Working Plan Division Kohima as part of observing the World Environment Day.

Species of Ginkgo biloba, Cryptomeria, weeping willow, cephalotaxus, Rhododendron and oak were planted. The Division also distributed saplings to interested institutions and individuals for plantation. This year, the Division distributed thousands of seedlings of indigenous species to various institutions and organisations within Kohima as well as other districts.

Altrura Society: Altrura Society (AuS) in collaboration with Chümoukedima Town Council (CTC) conducted a painting competition in commemoration of the World Environment Day at Chümoukedima Town Council Hall. A total of 63 students from 21 schools took part in the competition. In the competition, Watijungla from Little Flower School Chümoukedima won the first prize, Imtiloba from Mt Mary Hr. Sec School and Neilhouvino Christi from St. Joseph Hr. sec school bagged the second and third prizes respectively.

Meanwhile, introductory speech on World Environment Day under the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’ and ‘Waste Management’ was given by Thejavizo Nakhro, EAC & Administrator Chümoukedima Town Council, Pastor Zhau Sanchu, Principal Hope Theological College also spoke on ‘the Beautiful creation of God.’

Balijan Youth Club: In a bid to protect and preserve the environment Balijan Youth Club under the theme ‘Beat Air pollution’ observed World Environment Day at Balijan. Kishore Chettri, president of the club addressed the gathering. Later, the youth members planted plant sapling in and around the club house. 93 Battalion BSF: The 93 Battalion Border Security Force (BSF) observed, World Environment Day at its battalion headquarters, Chedema. Led by battalion Commandant, Surinder Singh and his wife, Dr. Amanpreet Kaur planted 400 saplings.

Officers, their wives and jawans joined the occasion. Narendra Yadav, 2/ic, RS Gautom Deputy Commandant and Amit Kumar Singh, Deputy Commandant and Adjutant also took part in the plantation.

Wokha Forest Division: Wokha Forest Division celebrated World Environment Day at Doyang Beat Office, Chukitong Wokha, with SDO (C), Wokha Chonbenthung Ezung as the special guest under the theme ‘Air Pollution.’ District Forest Officer, Wokha Zuthunglo Patton, IFS while giving the key note address informed that this year the department of Forest has already distributed around fifty thousand sapling within the district.

Later plantation of saplings was carried out in an around the Doyang Beat office premises, officials and the participants present during the function took part in the plantation drive.

Forest Range Office, Chümoukedima: On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Forest Range Office, Chümoukedima headed by the Forest Ranger Imkongsunep Longchar in collaboration with the administration distributed tree saplings to various schools under Chümoukedima Range. In a brief programme held at GPS Khriesephe, the importance of trees in mitigating the ill effects of air pollution and its benefit in environment conservation were highlighted.

Thereafter, under the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution,’ around 1000 tree saplings of various species which included Bokul, Rain tree, Acacia, Gulmohar etc. were distributed to GMSs Chümoukedima, Tenyiphe II, GPSs Virazouma, Khriezephe and GHS Sovima.

Indianeers Skills Academy: Indianeers Skills Academy, Gorkha Public Panchayat Complex Chandmari Kohima organised World Environment Day along with faculty, staff and students.

GVSU: In commemoration with the yearlong golden jubilee celebration of Gariphema Village Students’ Union (GVSU), Gariphema village observed World Environment Day by planting ornamental tree. The plantation drive was powered by Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) Gariphema. District Forest Office Kohima provided saplings.

Department of Horticulture: Commemorating the World Environment Day, a plantation drive under the theme ‘Air Pollution- Breath Healthy, Live Healthy’ was organised by the department of Horticulture Government of Nagaland at Dimapur Airport. More than 300 saplings of Indian Iron tree was planted in the stretch of road leading towards Dimapur Airport. Principal Secretary Horticulture, M.K.Mero planted the first tree followed by DC Dimapur, Keveka Kevin Zehol, Airport Director, M Zhimo and others. Besides plantation drive, the team also cleaned and picked all the non- biodegradable plastics along the road to make the place not only green but clean.

Along with the Horticulture department, the Airport Authority of India and other stakeholders including CISF, Indian oil, Bharat Petroleum, Indigo, Air India also participated in the plantation and cleanliness drive to celebrate World Environment Day.

Kiphire: Clean and healthy environment is the right for everyone, Shayung Phom, Deputy Commissioner Kiphire said while addressing the students, citizens, well-wishers and the department on the World Environment Day held at Town Central Point, Kiphire.

The DC planted tree to mark of the occasion. He also gave away the award for cleanest colony and best dustbin competition. Rajesh Kumar, DFO territorial, Suman Sivachar, Wild Life Warden and Atsase OSD Forest Department also spoke on the occasion. Saramati School presented skit.

Observation and Special Homes: World Environment Day was observed at Observation Homes and Special Homes across Nagaland. Observation Homes and Special Homes are Child Care Institutes for children in conflict with law, under the establishment of Child Protection Services Nagaland.

OSC Wokha: One Stop Centre, Wokha observed World environment Day in collaboration with ICDS, Adolescent Girls Club, Pinewood School, Bethsaida School and Anganwadi Worker under the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, where altogether 41 persons have participated. Events such as paper bags making and free distribution of paper bags, pamphlets and flyers were carried out. Nancy Lotha, Case Worker, OSC Wokha briefed the participants why the World Environment Day was celebrated and importance of protecting the environment for the young tomorrow.

She also briefed about OSC and the services provided under OSC scheme for women and girls affected by violence. One thousands paper bags were also made by the OSC team where the students of Pinewood School and Bethsaida School assisted in making the paper bags. The items were distributed for free to 105 shops within Wokha town area. In the process the shopkeepers and shop owners were also made aware about One Stop Centre and insisted to stop using plastic to save the environment for better tomorrow.

Pfutseromi Village Council: The Pfutseromi Village Council observed World Environment Day at Pfutseromi Village along with the Forest Department Pfutsero Range. Forest Department Pfutsero Range under Forest Ranger Dietho Swuro provided tree saplings to the village for plantation in and around the village. The tree saplings were handed over to the village council to be distributed to the villager. Thepucuyi Yhobu, Forester spoke on the importance of taking care of environment and the need to plant more trees.

Pfutseromi Village Council Chairman, M. Mero delivered the concluding remark. 78th Battalion of CRPF: The 78th Battalion of CRPF observed World Environment Day at its Zubza Headquarters, Kohima and in all Company Head Quarters.

In tune with the United Nations theme for World Environment Day 2019 – ‘Connecting People to Nature’, the DGP, Ops Kohima Sarbjith Singh, Unit Commandant Surender Singh along with others planted more than 200 trees in the camp area. Plantations were also made in the seven sub-units of the Battalion deployed at Kohima and Dimapur.

DFoN: Observing World Environment Day members of Dream Foundation of Nagaland (DFoN) conducted tree plantation drive and planted tree saplings at Government Primary School (Sumi) Purana Bazaar, Government Middle School Toluvi village and Government Middle School, Padumpukhuri on June 5.

- https://morungexpress.com/world-environment-day-observed-across-nagaland/, June 6, 2019

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Why did a part of Hyderabad’s Moula Ali kamaan, a protected monument, fall off?

A part of the 19th-century monument fell when heavy rains lashed Hyderabad. A portion of the Moula Ali kamaan (arch), the gateway to the historic Hazrat Ali dargah, was destroyed in the rains that lashed Hyderabad two days ago. A part of the top portion of the kamaan fell and the debris hit a car passing below, but no pedestrians or passengers suffered injuries. The kamaan now stands as a symbol of another 19thcentury monument in the city on the verge of collapse due to neglect, mainly from the state archaeological department, which is in charge of its upkeep.

A month ago, panic prevailed among tourists in the city after a part of one of the minarets of Charminar collapsed. Last year, one of the city’s iconic bus shelters, the Mississippi Hangar, crumbled in just one day. The kamaan was inspected by a team from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) on Tuesday, and members say that years of neglect and movement of vehicular traffic through the kamaan led to the collapse. Anuradha Reddy, a member of the team who visited the site, tells TNM that one of the main reasons for a part of the kamaan to fall was the stagnation of rainwater.

“The top portion of the kamaan had a stagnant pool of water as there were frequent rains in the area over the past month. This eventually seeped through the walls and damaged the already weak structure,” Anuradha says. Also important to note is the number of vehicles that pass through the kamaan every day. Cycles, cars, trucks and every kind of vehicle crosses the kamaan, the vibrations of which are enough for the monument to crack. The kamaan serves as an entrance to the Moula Ali dargah, which was constructed at a time when bullock carts were the main mode of transport. The arch was also used by the Nizams, who took out processions on elephants to visit the shrine. “Yesterday, when we were at the site, we saw a car struggling to make its way through the kamaan. It finally took the pedestrians to tell the driver that it was impossible for him to make it through the entrance. Vehicular movement was stopped for a little while to clear the debris after the collapse, but traffic was back to normal within 24 hours,” she says.

A part of the kamaan had collapsed after an accident in 2007 when a heavy vehicle rammed into the structure. This created a controversy, as motorists demanded that the kamaan be razed for better accessibility. In 2010, the kamaan was declared as a protected monument by the state. Activists say that it was only in 2011 that the monument was restored using lime and mortar after a High Court directive.

While the neglect on the part of the state archaeology department is evident, pedestrians and the public are also to be blamed, says Anuradha. “The structure has been heavily misused by the public by scribbling and painting the graffiti on the walls. Public neglect is more appalling,” she adds. An estimate of the damage on the monument is yet to be made. But, Anuradha Reddy raises an important question: “Telangana is home to 347 monuments of historical importance. If the fate of a structure which is located in the prime of a city is like this, do we even need to talk about the other 346 in various parts of the state?”

- https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-did-part-hyderabad-s-moula-ali-kaaman-protected-monument-fall-103057, June 6, 2019

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Himachal folk art expo at National Museum from Friday

About 240 folk artefacts, including textiles, 'mohras' and masks, from medieval and modern Himachal Pradesh, will be on display at "Unknown Masterpieces of Himachal Folk Art" that opens on Friday at the National Museum here.

The exhibition aims to highlight the folk art tradition of Himachal Pradesh and offers an idea of what must have existed in "Punjab Hill States", Himachal's erstwhile British name. The show, which will run till July 31, will pay a tribute to K.C. Aryan, founder of the Museum of Folk, Tribal, and Neglected Art.

A majority of exhibits have been sourced from Aryan's collection. "National Museum wants to conserve our cultural heritage, not only of classical nature, but also of folk relations. Art of all natures must be taken care of," Sanjib Kumar Singh, museologist and spokesperson of the National Museum, told. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.

- https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/himachal-folk-art-expo-at-national-museum-from-friday/1549623, June 7, 2019

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Through an oral literature festival, a bid to save languages of the Northeast

At heart of The Listener, a performative oral literature festival, is a more noble cause: archiving and preserving the lesser-known languages of one of the richest and most diverse language families in the world. Later this year, there will be a Northeast-focused literature festival in Tripura. However, like most “lit-fests” around the world, this one won’t be about readers and writers, or even books and written texts. The Listener — organised by Manipur-based Imasi Foundation and INTACH Tripura - is a festival of oral literature concentrating on the Tibeto-Burman group of languages of Northeast India.

In the event, tentatively slated for December, visitors won’t encounter book readings or author-constituted panel discussions, but poems, hymns, ballads and stories — all performed to highlight literature of different kind. “A kind that does not have to be necessarily read. And a kind that is passed down from generation to generation, from mouth to ear,” says Somi Roy, Founder and Managing Trustee, Imasi Foundation. “All literature festivals in india are about written books.

At best, they will have a panel on oral literature. But rarely are entire fests dedicated to oral literature,” says Imphal-based Roy.

Archiving the festival
While the idea took root in Roy’s home state, Manipur, the festival will cover languages from all the eight Northeastern states. “We can impose political boundaries but there are no boundaries in languages,” says Roy. A film and media curator, who earlier lived in New York, he was drawn to the larger issue of cultural conservation ever since he started the Imasi Foundation in a bid to to preserve the works of his famous writer mother, the late MK Binodini Devi, a member of the royal family of Manipur. The festival, which is in its initial stages of planning, will have a variety of performances: a ballad tradition from Manipur, a folk music performance from Nagaland, and so on.

But at the heart of these all is language — many of which are oral, have a very few speakers, and are without scripts and sometimes, even writing systems. The Northeast, with its rich and diverse tribal culture, accounts for more than 200 literary traditions of the Tibeto-Burman language group, which falls under the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. The very diverse group has many languages which are oral, tribal and performative.

It is these languages, at the risk of fading into oblivion that The Listener is trying to preserve. “How do we do it?” asks Roy, “By turning these festival performances into archival products.” In the run up to the festival is a series of workshops — the first of which will take place this month in Delhi — training a cadre of archivists to document each performance.

“What is the song, who is singing it, what does it mean, who is the community who composed it, what is their history, who wrote it, how old is it? These are the questions we will try to answer,” says Roy. The product — in video and audio format — will then be stored in two mammoth and continually growing digital archives at the University of North Texas and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) Delhi, the two collaborative partners for the exercise. “We can have people come and tell their stories but if we don’t archive the information, this won’t be more than just a fun, feel-good event," says Shobhana Chelliah, Professor of Linguistics at the College of Information, University of North Texas.

These archival workshops — helmed by Dr Chelliah, along with Ramesh C Gaur, who heads the Kalanidhi Division at the IGNCA — are actually the centrepiece of the festival, and also the first of its kind to happen in India.

Are the languages of the Northeast dying?
The diversity of the Northeast means that its residents, some belonging to the same state, speak languages of different linguistic families. While Assamese and Bengali fall under the Indo-European family, Manipuri (Meiteillon), Mizo, Bodo, Kachari, Lepcha are some which fall under the Tibetan-Burman group of languages (which, in turn, belongs to the Sino Tibetan family).

"The Sino-Tibetan family includes Chinese has several million speakers. But as you come from China into Southeast Asia and then to India, while there is a rich diversity of languages, the number [of speakers] start to go down,” says Dr Chelliah, adding that some of these languages are spoken by very small tribal communities. But even within the sub-group, there are variations. For example, there is a well-resourced language like Meitei in Manipur which has a 1500-year-old writing system.

“But on the flip side, there are low-resourced ones like Purum, also spoken in Manipur, which has just 300 speakers!” says Dr Chelliah. While the former is backed by a body of manuscripts, the latter is at the risk of disappearing soon. “These languages, spoken by smaller communities, have less inter-generational transmission,” explains Dr Chelliah. That basically means children, often moving out of their homes, do not end up talking in the language their parents once did.
A host of factors contribute to this — political unrest and economic aspirations, among others.

"Many of these languages don’t have writing systems — and while that is important from the literature point-of-view, it is certainly not the only thing needed to sustain the language," says Dr Chelliah, “What is really required to sustain a language is a community of speakers preserving it," says Chelliah. Roy’s The Listener festival is hoping to inspire people to do just that.

- https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/through-an-oral-literature-festival-a-bid-to-save-languages-of-the-northeast-5770856/, June 10, 2019

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Heritage walks soon at Delhi Golf Club, says government

Archaeology dept has written to Delhi Golf Club to allow sightseers to visit the old monuments once their conservation is complete. Heritage lovers and history enthusiasts may soon get access to the ensemble of historic structures — constructed during the Tughlaq period (1320-1413) or the Mughal rule (1526-1857) — that are present on the sprawling Delhi Golf Club spread across over 220 acres. A senior Delhi government official, associated with the conservation of ancient buildings, said the state archaeology department, in a joint initiative with the club, will create facilities for sightseers, who intend to visit the old structures at the golf course. "We have written to the club to allow entry of general visitors after their (the structures) conservation.

Their only concern is safety of visitors. But, the club administration has now agreed to (consider). We will explore possibilities on how to provide safe movement of visitors at the course. We may have dedicate passageways leading to all monuments for the tourists,” said the official. Currently, the club administration arranges solicited tours under its supervision. Set up in the 1930s, the Delhi Golf Club is dotted with a cluster of eight monuments, including a mosque from the Mughal period. One among them is the Lal Bangla, possibly named after Lal Kunwar, mother of Mughal King Shah Alam II. Apart from three unknown tombs, the campus has sepulchres of Sayyid Abid, companion of Mughal general Nursat Jang and Mir Taqi. While Lal Bangla is a notified monument in the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI’s) list, other structures are under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government’s archaeology department. As the department has got all requisite approvals and budgetary provisions, the conservation of significant buildings is likely to begin by end of June. Another significant structure at the golf campus is Barah Khamba — 12 dressed massive stone columns topped by domes under which lies an unknown grave. Barring the Lal Bangla, the remaining monuments generally remain inaccessible to common visitors as they are located deep inside the putting area of golfers.

The proposed plan for unhindered access to the cluster of the monuments inside the golf club complex has received accolades from heritage experts and historians. Historian and author Rana Safvi said it was a good idea because this slice of history should not remain hidden from heritage lovers. “The Delhi Golf Club complex, which was developed over burial ground of Sultanate and Mughal dynasties, comprises significant structures like Lal Bangla and Sayyid Abid’s Tomb. There are beautiful mausoleums. They should be open to all,” she said. Built during the late Mughal period around 1779-80, Lal Bangla is made of red sandstone and Lakhori bricks. A garden enclosure contains three domed mausoleums, including that of Mughal princess Begum Jaan.

According to Asar-us-Sanadid, an account of monuments and environs of the pre-colonial city of Delhi, by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Lal Bangla also houses the graves of princes of the Timurid family such as Mirza Sultan Parvez and Mirza Dara Bakht. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage director (projects) Ajay Kumar said if both the parties — Delhi’s archaeology department and Delhi Golf Club — mutually agreed, then the dates and time slots can be fixed for visitors.

“The tours can be facilitated when the golf course is closed or no game is being played. Following their mutual understanding, dates and time can be decided to hold heritage tour like it is done at the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Kumar said. The office-bearer at Delhi Golf Club couldn’t be reached for his comments.

Monuments at the golf course
Spread across 220 acres of land, Delhi Golf Club has its own set of monuments that are believed to be built during Tughlaq period (1320-1413) or are from the era of the Mughal rule (1526-1857)

Sayyid Abid’s Tomb
This early Mughal tomb was also known as Shaheed Ki Dargah, according to historian Rana Safvi. It had a tank and water channels in its courtyard but these are now desolate. However, a swimming pool exists next to the building, which is accessible through a grand three-door pavilion.

Mughal Vaulted Tomb
Unlike other tombs in the complex, this tomb has a vaulted roof but the graves are missing. Built on a square platform, it is a Lakhori brick masonry and devoid of any decorative elements.

Barah Khamba
Heritage experts are divided over the period of its construction. While Rana Safvi in her book ‘The Forgotten Cities of Delhi’ says it dates to the Lodi era, an INTACH booklet claims that the construction of domes suggests that they belonged to the Tughlaq period

Unknown Mughal Tomb
Located at the western edge along Golf Link, the tomb does not have evidence of period of its construction. The tomb is crowned by a dome with arched niches, and has painted decorations on the parapet, ceiling, and walls. It is home to three unknown graves

Tomb of Bagichi
Confined within a small garden, the tomb of Bagichi was originally surrounded by four walls. The walls and ceilings are ornamented with frescoes. There are two graves inside

Mir Taqi’s Tomb
This single-domed tomb stands over a slightly raised platform. One of the prominent features of this structure is the fluted dome with an inverted lotus crest and decorations in incised plaster

Late Mughal era mosque
This nameless mosque is made of Lakhori brick masonry. The mosque is in a crumbling state as its significant portion has collapsed

- http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2019/jun/10/heritage-walks-soon-at-delhi-golf-club-says-government-1988271.html, June 10, 2019

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Urban Haat to be re-inaugurated on August 15

A private firm, outsourced by the Amritsar Development Authority (ADA), has claimed to make the Urban Haat functional till August 15. But, development work is yet to begin there. The buildings of the Urban Haat are lying abandoned. Officials of the firm say they have prepared everything on paper and scheduled August 15 for reopening of the Urban Haat. Constructed with an aim to boost the city’s tourism, the replica of the famous Lahore Food Street has been crying for attention of the Amritsar Development Authority for long as the project is non-functional even three years after its inauguration. The Amritsar Development Authority (ADA) had sublet it to a Bathinda-based firm in November 2018.

The company will pay Rs 81 lakh annually to the ADA and has rights to accommodate food brands. The ADA had given the company time to make arrangements and will start collecting rent from July 11. Amarjit Singh, owner of the firm, said, “We are all set to make the Urban Haat functional.

The first phase will be inaugurated on August 15. The company will start its marketing process soon. The repair and paint work on the building is going on. A large number of multinational brands will open their outlets.” It is worth mentioning here that the then BJP-SAD government in the state had restored and revamped the abandoned 124-year-old colonial-era building of Victoria Jubilee Hospital in consultation with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage to attract tourists to taste Amritsar’s cuisine in 2015.

The project was inaugurated by the then deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, in May 2016 amidst much fanfare by organising Amritsar Heritage Festival in which people from 20 different states had taken part.

- https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/urban-haat-to-be-re-inaugurated-on-august-15/785783.html, June 10, 2019

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India gets its first dinosaur museum in Gujarat

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday inaugurated India’s first dinosaur and fossil park at Raiyoli village in Mahisagar district. This museum will give visitors a true Jurassic Park feel. According to government officials, Raiyoli is globally known to be the third largest fossil site and the second-largest dinosaur hatchery from where about 10,000 dinosaur eggs have been found. This dinosaur museum will have modern technology like 3D projection, virtual reality presentations, interactive kiosks, and life-size dinosaur replicas. The museum will also have an environment recreated like the prehistoric era when dinosaurs moved around freely in Raiyoli.

As many as 50 sculptures of dinosaurs including a life-size sculpture of the Rajasaurus Narmadensis, found in Gujarat, have been erected around the museum. After inaugurating the museum, Rupani said, “All efforts will be made to promote the site internationally for tourism purpose.” The Gujarat government has announced that it will allocate Rs 10 crore to promote the site internationally.

- https://www.mynation.com/india-news/india-gets-its-first-dinosaur-museum-in-gujarat-pstimf, June 10, 2019

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Did you know that CST, BMC building were built by Freemasons?

A page in the diary of Silurian Lodge in South Wales has the name of Frederick William Steven, the architect of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) building, who was initiated into Freemasonry in 1875. The District Grand Lodge of Bombay, the city’s masonic centre, organised a heritage walk on Sunday show Mumbaiites the connection between Freemasonry and Mumbai’s heritage structures. Freemasonry began in the late 16th and early 17th centuries in England and Scotland and entered India in the early 18th century. It is considered to be the world’s largest closed-door fraternity of stonemasons. “There are many heritage structures in south Mumbai that have connections with Freemasonry. For example, the initiation for first lodge to admit Indians into Freemasonry took place at the Town Hall. However, not much is known about this history and its connection to Mumbai,” R Ventakesh of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

According to Venkatraman P, the deputy district grandmaster, District Grand Lodge of Bombay, as the north-east corner of a house or any building is auspicious in vaastu, similarly, according to the tenets of Freemasonry, the foundation stone is laid in the north-east direction. “The pattern has been found at TCS headquarters in town and even at Freemasons’ Hall [in Fort],” said Venkatraman. Speaking about the contributions of Freemasons, Ventakesh added that even as the trend during the time Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters were built was to follow Victorian gothic architecture, this building have been built in Indo-Saracenic architectural form. “What we see is that freemasons have expanded their horizon beyond politics and religion, among other aspects, to follow their principles of being fair and square.

You can see this in the way they have meticulously handled their tasks, just like how Pherozeshah Mehta has been instrumental in making BMC what it is today,” said Ventakesh. Speaking about other Freemasons who have contributed towards betterment of the country, Venkatraman mentioned former Viceroy Lord Ripon, after whom Ripon Club at Fort is named. “During his period, Lord Ripon introduced a bill whereby Indian judges could judge Europeans, a distinct impossibility until then,” said Venkatraman. “Freemasons believe that it is important to be upright and be within limits, and that is evident in the harmony experienced in early days of Bombay, where there was no greed. Now, morals have declined in public life.

- https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/did-you-know-that-cst-bmc-building-were-built-by-freemasons/story-B4hJF6UjnbVuvgZ40d3qcO.html June 11, 2019

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Preservation of Wakf properties in Delhi caught in red tape

Bureaucratic technicalities and lack of interest showed by the stakeholders have led to shelving of Delhi Wakf Board’s (DWB’s) ambitious project for conservation of its heritage buildings. The plan is gathering dust in files for six months.A senior Delhi government official, privy to the matter, said that the finance department had turned down the proposal due technical issues and later, the board lost interest in the project after bureaucratic reshuffle.

As a result, it had to be abandoned. “Following an initial in-principal approval, the finance department rejected the idea noting that the board should involve archaeology department in restoration. Technically, it was not possible because this would have created conflict of interest as the board has been contesting court cases over jurisdiction of several monuments with the department,” the official said. The custodian of the Wakf properties in the national capital — the DWB — planned a systematic conservation of all these notified buildings of historical importance almost a year ago.

As the agency lacks expertise and requisite number of workforce to deal with ancient structures, it had decided to rope in the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for the task. According to the board’s preliminary survey, around 400 notified heritage structures, including mosques and tombs dating back to the pre-Mughal period — has been in decay as the DWB and occupants or tenants have failed to carry out their restoration suitably.Most of these structures are located in south Delhi. A DWB official said that the main causes for dilapidation of the significant number of structures in the Walled City are encroachment and unauthorised construction. Another official of the Delhi government associated the proposal, said the conservation of buildings in question by the archeology department was not possible as it has little manpower. Moreover, for maintenance of its own properties, the SAD is soliciting the services of INTACH.“We have attached a copy of the MoU between SAD and INTACH for reference proposing that the project could take off based on the same standard terms and conditions.

However, it was rejected despite being at an advanced stage. Ten buildings had been indentified to be taken up for restoration under first phase,” he said. Among the notified heritage properties under the custodianship of the board are Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri mosque, Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki Dargah complex, the shrine of Chirag-e-dilli, the tomb of Bedil, Nili Masjid in Hauz Khas, and a few other structures in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.An office-bearer of DWB said when the proposal was taking final shape; officers involved in the project were transferred, so it was put in abeyance.

Restoration of heritage on back burnner The custodian of the Wakf properties in the national capital — the DWB — planned systematic conservation of all these notified buildings of historical importance almost a year ago. Since the board lacked expertise, it had to decide to rope in INTACH.



- http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2019/jun/11/preservation-of-wakf-properties-in-delhi-caught-in-red-tape-1988599.html June 12, 2019

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