KARACHI: Historical necropolis of Makli has been under the process of restoration and preservation under a master plan unveiled by Sindh culture department three months ago. The plan, which had been under preparation since six years, provides detailed strategy for the conservation of one of the largest necropolises of the world.
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Sharing details of the master plan with The Express Tribune, director-general of antiquities and archaeology department, Manzoor Ahmed Kanasro, said the master plan is a comprehensive document that contains details about the necropolis, including number, shapes and sizes of graves. The plan also includes findings of a survey that was conducted in the area to ascertain effects of water level, wind and rain on the graves. The plan lays down a strategy to restore and preserve the site, which has been declared a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
"If you want to restore such a significant site, you need to have a broad perspective, which requires a master plan. For Makli, there was never such a plan before," Kanasro maintained. He added that the new plan clearly delineates the preservation strategy in terms of short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.
The plan also deals with encroachments that have posed a constant threat to Makli. "We have demarcated the area and also identified the buffer area. Moreover, we have also established the jurisdiction under which the areas fall, so that no encroachment takes place in the future," Kanasro said.
An area in Makli that had been encroached upon by two tribes and had as many as 265 houses and 16 shops on it, has been cleared, Kanasro claimed. "We requested Thatta deputy commissioner and Hyderabad assistant commissioner to allocate a piece of government's land to these people who had encroached upon the necropolis," he added.
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Kanasro asserted the need of preserving the heritage. It is essential that nobody should be allowed to damage historical places such as Makli, he said. He hoped that if the restoration work at the place continues in line of the master plan, the site will attract locals and foreigners. "It is important that we provide facilities to tourists at such places," Kanasro added.