Monday, May 16, 2011

Dilipated condition of Umer Hayat Palace

Umer Hayat Palace, undoubtedly the leading masterpiece and magnificent architecture of Chiniot, its founding stone was laid down in 1923 and was completed in 1928. Since its completion the palace has seen many ups and downs. In 1940, Anjuman Islamia tried to establish an academic institution but could not work. An Orphanage was established by Muhammad Amin Sehgal in Umer Hayat palace in 1948.
By the1970 Local government of Chiniot demolished two upper stories of the palace. In 1990 Library was established and taken in official confinement. In 1990 Reconstruction of the palace taken place and finally in 1991 Inauguration of research and cultural center took place in Umer Hayat Palace.
Once it was great source of attraction for the vicinities especially for the people who had great love and affiliation for the past heritage now it seems to be loosing its beauty and youth because of the ignorance and apathetic attitude of relevant authorities.
Cleanliness is one of the major issues of that standing beauty as there in no sweeper deputed to look after it. Its last renovation and refurbishment work was completed in 1991 and since than it has undergone twenty long years of turmoil and fading colors.
Though the Chiniot was declared as a district in February 2009 but still this historical building is unable to catch the worthy consideration of district government. The main dilemma with this building was to turn it into a library, an experiment that seems to the playing havoc with this century old palace. The library is not serving its cause but also a burden on this building.
Though still people visit it from dawn to dusk but there is not visiting book maintained in the palace. The deputed librarian serves more as a guide rather than a librarian. The palace of Umer Hayat is also devoid of any chokidar so it is also exposed as far as its protection and security is concerned. The children of that mohallah use the lawn of palace often s a play ground so that lawn is unable to proper despite the several efforts of local NGOs.
Some concerned individuals have also written to archeology department for its custody but to no use. Several reasons have been pronounced by the archeology department for this purpose. Some say it is the age of the building and some come up with other lame excuses. A beam of light is the pipeline act that would be soon put into the Punjab assembly and by the virtue of that act Umer Hayat Palace would be handed over to its true custodians.

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