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Peshawar

July 13, 2018

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Archaeology Dept says heritage buildings demolition prohibited

PESHAWAR: The Directorate of Archeology and Museums said Thursday that old buildings located in the Peshawar Cantonment are heritage properties and important antiquities whose demolition is strictly prohibited.

The department sprang into action after Cantonment Executive Officer placed a public notice in a section of the press asking the people who had acquired old buildings on lease or grant to demolish forthwith the old and dilapidated buildings and submit fresh designs for construction of new ones to replace these structures.

The notice directed the people living in such buildings to apply for lease within 14 days if they had been granted these structures and possessed the old grant documents.

The notice asked the people to submit the construction designs or building maps after getting the regular lease.

The Cantonment Board said in the notice that all such lessees had already been issued notices under Section 126 of the Cantonment Act of 1924.

The people were asked to take the notice published in the print media on Thursday as a final one and initiate action within a fortnight or else Cantonment Board would not be responsible if any human or material loss was caused due to the collapse of the old buildings.

The public notice carried the pictures of some old buildings situated in Peshawar Saddar that are of historical importance.

The Directorate of Archeology and Museums took swift notice of the action of the administration of Cantonment Board Peshawar.

The Directorate in an instant letter addressed by Assistant Director, Mohid Gul, to the Cantonment Executive of Officer of the Cantonment Board Peshawar, asked him to refrain from such an action.

The communication said: “Most of the old buildings in Cantonment Board Peshawar are heritage properties/important antiquities as per the Section-2 Sub-Section (b) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act 2016. Demolishing such houses and buildings is strictly prohibited as per Section-18 Sub-section (1) of the said act.”

The Directorate of Archeology and Museums letter asked the Cantonment Board Peshawar to stop the demolitions as it was a violation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act 2016.

The letter asked the Cantonment Board Peshawar to obtain a “no-objection certificate” from the Directorate of Archeology and Museums before demolition of any old building.

The Directorate sent a copy of the letter to the secretary of Archaeology, Museums, Culture, Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs.

A copy of the communication was also sent to Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh, asking him to intervene in the matter.

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