Millions of rupees were spent on rehabilitation of Sindh’s heritage in the past but the structure couldn’t sustain due to use of substandard material by the contractors.
The historic monuments are victim of corruption and neglect of Sindh Antiquities officials
Report and Photos by Allah Bux Khushik
Almost all the historical monuments including the tombs, mosques and graves in Khudabad, the capital of Kalhora dynasty’s rule of 18th century in Sindh, have severely been damaged by this monsoon’s torrential rains.
Khudabad, located in Dadu district, was the seat of power of Kalhora rulers before they shifted the capital to Hyderabad.
A survey conducted by Sindh Courier revealed that Kalhora Ruler Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro and his military generals’ tombs and graves, located in Khudabad, some 21km from the Dadu city, have been damaged. Some parts of tombs of Mian Yar Muhammad Kalohro, Mian Muhammad Murad Kalhoro and two famous generals Shah Dad Faqeer Langah and Mango Faqeer Jatoi have collapsed.
A resident of Khudabad town, who identified himself as Mubeen Panhwar, told that the rain has badly damaged the historical graveyard by the rains but the concerned authorities have not yet taken action to rehabilitate the monuments.
He alleged that the damage to historic monuments was the result of corruption, as millions of rupees were reportedly released by the government but the contractors used sub-standard material in rehabilitation work carried out in the past before the rains. “As many as 30 graves of the generals of Kalhora rulers have also caved in,” he told at the site.
Talking of negligence of the Antiquities Department of Sindh government, Panhwar also mentioned the encroachment over the monuments’ land. “Twenty acres land was specified for Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro’s historical graveyard but five acres of land have been illegally occupied by the area people, and no action has been taken by the department to retrieve the land,” he said.
Speaking to Sindh Courier, Muhammad Ibrahim Bhand, the prayer leader of historical Jamia Masjid of Khudabad, said that the rain has also affected this mosque.
He said that 5ft wall of mosque’s yard had collapsed while there was seepage of rainwater from the roof of mosque besides damage to marble slabs laid in the yard of mosque.
He said that the mosque was repaired and renovated by the concerned department two times in the past but due to use of substandard martial by the contractor it couldn’t sustain. “Its original shape was changed.”
He said that surrounding wall of mosque had also collapsed, while Kalhora era Elephant house was demolished.
Ibrahim Bhand also drew attention to the effects of heavy traffic near the historic mosque. “The mosque is situated at the Indus Highway where the heavy vehicles including long trailers use to pass round the clock, which create vibration that has also caused cracks in the mosque.
He said that millions of rupees were released to the contractors but the corruption and commission system has ruined the mosque. “You can see, the rehabilitation work has not been completed for years.” He said that many times the contractors and concerned officials were arrested by NAB but after paying bribe they were released.
Jamia Masjid Makhdoom Bilawal
Like the Kalhora era masjid, the historical Jamia Masjid Makhdoom Bilawal was also damaged by the heavy rains.
During the visit of this scribe, it was observed that the newly constructed tombs of mosque were cracked, and the marble bricks of walls and yard were also damaged.
The visitors namely Saeed Khushk, Zahid Chandio and others pointed out the delay in completion of repair and renovation of mosque. It was noted that entry gates were not constructed and the windows were also not installed.
Moreover, owing to load shedding of electricity, people who are coming for prayers, are facing hardships.
It was observed that mosque’s historical waiting room’s roof plaster had collapsed while the historical well and pond were found ruined, as the concerned government department had miserably failed to save historical heritage.