Friday July 19, 2024

PMNH lags behind in execution of projects due to lack of funds

November 14, 2022

Islamabad : Museums are the important pillars of any society and have multiple roles in terms of the conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity to educate future generations.

However, the important department of the Pakistan Museum for Natural History (PMNH) is lagging behind in the execution of any development project due to a lack of funds for the last two quarters. The department is compelled to rely on the income, generated through the routine visits of the public, for meeting its maintenance expenditures and paying bills.

According to an official source, PMNH was established under the patronage of the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), the Ministry of Science and Technology and its scientists work on various projects for the popularization of natural history through research publications, displays, exhibits, and dioramas for public awareness. The concerned ministry has issued a clear directive to the department to first defend the project for which the budget is required and give proper justification otherwise the funds would not be provided, the official source said.

Now the failure is on the part of the head of the department if he or she is unable to defend any project before the relevant ministry’s top officials , the source added. The amount collected through the tickets purchased by the visitors is normally spent on either maintenance of the display facilities of the museum or paying the gas and electricity bills, the official disclosed. The projects of display of three galleries related to Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, and Ocean are pending since June and have not been made functional due to lack of funds as well as leadership.

Responding to a question, the source said that pending blocks of the PMNH building have also not been established since its establishment. The department is not having any national or international projects or collaborations right now like it was in the past. The galleries of the museum have had the same display for the last decade with no improvement.

To a question, the official source informed that there is no such increase in the ratio of visitors during the last many years rather it was reduced drastically during the Covid restrictions and now due to the political instability. It is pertinent to mention here that PMNH has four divisions namely Botanical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Zoological Sciences, and Public Services. The first three divisions are engaged in the collection, preservation, identification, and research activities related to plants, animals, fossils, rocks, and minerals resources of Pakistan, while the latter is responsible for public education through dioramas, exhibits, lectures, workshop, seminar, posters and film shows, etc.

PMNH also provides consultancy and advisory services to public and private sector organizations. PMNH scientists work on various projects for the popularization of natural history through research publications, displays, exhibits, and dioramas.