Restoring glory of Shalimar & Nishat gardens

Kashmir Magazine

Sajad Lone

For the first time, floriculture department signed an MoU with the JSW foundation to restore the past glory of Shalimar and Nishat gardens.

JSW Foundation is the social development arm of the 13 billion US $ JSW Group, one of India’s leading business houses. It has a long track record and a rich legacy of empowering rural communities to enrich their lives since the last three decades.

Commissioner secretary floriculture, Sheikh Fayaz said that the Floriculture department has signed MOU with JSW Foundation for the developmental project of restoration of Shalimar and Nishat Garden.

“The restoration of these gardens will be done at an estimated cost of 9.60 crores under CSR and execution of work will start from April 19,” he said.

At the outset, representatives of JSW Foundation informed the meeting about the Scheme which shall be adopted in restoration of monuments and building part.

They further informed that Art conservation work of the first pavilion in the Garden known as Pink pavilion has already started.

JSW Foundation representative, Abha Narain Lambha said that it's an honour that they got such a beautiful project to work over, through an MoU.

"We are hoping through this MoU, collaborated efforts, we would able to restore back the glory of Nishat and Shalimar Garden.”’she said.

She said that the Gardens of Kashmir are known globally, so JSW foundation in collaboration with floriculture department will do every possible thing for conservation and restoration of international standard.

Meanwhile, Sangita Jindal, chairperson of JSW Foundation said she feels honoured in restoring the beauty of Shalimar and Nishat gardens in the Kashmir Valley.

“Our country is very beautiful and Kashmir is its most beautiful but due to some problems less attention was given to it and we feel honoured for doing our bit in restoring the beauty of Kashmir,” she said.

She said that her foundation has carried out many restoration projects across India and now they are doing it in Kashmir under ‘National Integrated Project’.

Meanwhile, Sajjan Jindal, chairman of JSW foundation said that he feels happy that a good number of tourists are coming to Kashmir Valley.

Earlier, on May 28, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha laid the foundation stone for the conservation and restoration of the historic Shalimar Garden at Srinagar.

In his address, the Lt Governor appreciated the efforts of JSW Foundation, Conservation Architects, Floriculture Department, local artists and other experts associated with the conservation and restoration work of Shalimar Garden.

“Gardens are living reflection of cultural heritage. We have embarked on a journey to conserve the precious sites, cultural assets that represent artistic and intellectual brilliance,” he said.

Terming the preservation of ecology and cultural heritage, along with growth in the industrial sector as key components of sustainable development, he said that the government is working on all aspects to ensure progress of J&K and equitable development of the society.

“Apart from bringing new investments & industries to the UT, we have also ensured the protection of cultural assets which we have inherited from our forefathers.”’

He said that gardens have remained one of the main attractions for tourists in the valley. “The Floriculture Department is making dedicated efforts to preserve the historical-cultural heritage of eight Mughal Gardens. The dossier of the Mughal Gardens was already sent for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site last year and it has boosted the influx of tourists and locals to these gardens.”