Saturday January 28, 2023

Makli graveyard without water supply for past eight years, PA told

By our correspondents
March 26, 2016


The supply of water to the largest necropolis of the world and Unesco-recognised World Heritage Site, Makli graveyard, has been severed for the past eight years for “unspecified” reasons, provincial authorities conceded in the shortened Sindh Assembly session on Friday.

The information was revealed to the provincial lawmakers in response to a written query by opposition legislator, Dr Seema Zia of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as part of the question hour pertaining to affairs of the culture department.

Since the session itself had to be adjourned due to lack of quorum, the questions could not be formally discussed without any proceedings. However, their responses were taken on record.

The written query of Dr Seema was: “Is it a fact that archaeological site of Makli graveyard has no facility of water and electricity since long. If the answer is in affirmative, then what steps have been taken by the department in this regard?”

The written response was provided to Dr Seema on behalf of Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who holds the additional portfolio of culture department, was: “It is a fact that water supply to hill monuments (of Makli’s site) has been stopped since 2008 due to unknown reasons. However, electricity is available at the site. Presently, the [culture] department is procuring water through tankers for the necropolis. Besides, the culture, tourism and antiquities department, has is working on an annual development program ‘Protection, Preservation, Promotion, and Development of World Heritage Site of Makli Hill Monument, Thatta’ with an estimated cost of Rs471.8 million, wherein the provision of water has been included in the PC-1.”

Answering other queries of the lawmakers concerned, it was also informed that the historical Khudabad mosque in Dadu district had been in an extremely deplorable condition before 2011.  But recently conservation work was being done by works and services and the culture department at a cost of Rs28.89 million. For the next financial year, it was said, another scheme of Rs40 million has been approved for the remaining conservation work.

To another question, the lawmakers were informed that there were a total of 10 culture complexes established by the provincial culture department. Out of them, eight cultural complexes in Ranikot, Tando Allahyar, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Sanghar, Thatta, Umerkot and Larkana were not complete. Only two cultural complexes had been completed and one of them was New Karachi and was inaugurated in January, 2016. The other one was in Mirpurkhas and has been functioning as the Ajrak Club.