By Shiv Kumar Padha
The cultural heritage and a tourism icon of the UT, Basohli fort was severely damaged during recent rains, but the administration is silent and resentment is brewing among the natives.
The remaining walls of the 500-year-old historic fort in Basohli, housing Mata Chanchlo temple, were damaged due to the land slidings during the recent rains. These damaged walls are posing a great threat for the total collapse of the fort. There is no support left which can keep the structure of the fort upright.
The Goddess Chanchlo Devi is the Kuldevi of lakhs of people living in the proximity of Basohli. The matter was reported to the local administration on 14th of Aug 2020 and later on to the Director Archeological survey Jammu and the District Administration Kathua. The district administration totally denied any help in this regard while the Director Archeological department expressed inability to spend even a penny on the repair of the damage as the Basohli fort doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction. Where on the one hand our PM is stressing upon the maintainance and preserving of our heritage on the other hand, the UT govt. seems bent upon diminishing it.
The condition of the fort is becoming from bad to worst and it is the apprehension of the natives that the whole heritage can collapse due to the process of shifting responsibility from one department to the other. It is worth mentioning that the fort is an icon of tourism in the UT plus abode of goddess Chanchlo Devi. Thousands of tourists and devotees throng the fort and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ranjeet Sagar Lake and the surroundings.
All senior citizens showed their deep concern over the damaging fort. They called upon the UT government to act immediately so that the heritage can be saved from further damage.