Encroachment hinders conservation work at Rawat Fort.

ISLAMABAD -- The issue of encroachment at the Rawat Fort is still hindering its restoration and conservation work being carried out by the team of Department of Archaeology and Museums (DoAM) to preserve this important archaeological site while the authorities concerned are reluctant to take any action against it.

'Despite writing to Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for several times, the encroachment from three sides of the historical Rawat Fort is still creating difficulties for our team to carry out its repair and conservation work', a senior official of Department of Archaeology and Museums (DoAM) said while talking to reporter.

According to the official, the department has completed more than 30 percent of the repair and conservation work of Rawat Fort, but now encroachment especially at the southern side was creating problems and further damaging the already dilapidated fort.

The encroachment is sheer violation of the CDA bylaws that prohibits construction within 200 feet of the historical monuments premises. However, authorities in CDA are not paying any concern to this issue, the official said.

The restoration and conservation work was initiated side by side by the team hired by DoAM soon after approval of PC-I for 'Repair, maintenance and development of Rawat Fort' with the cost of Rs28 million.

The department is carrying out this repair work mainly to preserve the fort with damaged boundary walls, 19 ram-shackled rooms, three-domed altered mosque, graves and a deserted mausoleum which were in dilapidated condition for last many years, the official informed.

However, the conservation of the fort will at least help protect this ancient site from further ruining as well as stop the drug addicts and beggar residing there through repair of boundary walls, the official added.

When contacted Director Encroachment, CDA, Fahim Badshah said he was totally unaware of any encroachment issue at Rawat Fort and CDA was...

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