After whitewash Iqbal Manzil attracting visitors

SIALKOT: The provincial government’s plan to renovate the Iqbal Manzil (the birth place of Allama Iqbal) and preserve it in its original shape and design, had been lying in doldrums due to which no one knows when the said plan would be implemented to save this national heritage and legacy. The provincial government had also planned to establish the parking stands around the Iqbal Manzil after purchasing one dozen houses around it from their owners. But the owners of these houses have again refused the district administration to sell their houses for this purpose, saying that they were also proud to be the neighbours of Iqbal Manzil.

The continuous flow of sewerage water, uncontrolled by the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA), was badly damaging the underground basis of the Iqbal Manzil here, besides, damaging the outer walls and original beauty of this historical building.

Earlier, stoppage of the sewerage water by Sialkot TMA could be helpful in averting ancient Iqbal Manzil from collapsing. When contacted, the concerned officials of TMA said that the special teams had already been deputed there to stop this continuous flow of sewerage water under this building.

About a decade ago, the then Punjab government had chalked out a plan to establish a research center and library on Iqbaliyat at Iqbal Manzil, saving it in its original shape, but unfortunately no implementation on this project had yet been started.

Now the Iqbal Manzil was speaking the volume of height of negligence of the concerned government departments in this regard.

Last year, the Punjab Archaeology Department had established the CCTV Cameras and fire-fighting systems in Iqbal Manzil. The white washed walls and roofs and carpeted floors of Iqbal Manzil, were giving a new look with the new rare pictures of Iqbal and his family. The management has also displayed Allama Iqbal’s personal Qalam and Dawaat (pen and inkpot) for public view at Iqbal Manzil.

The most of the decades’ old and torn curtains have also been changed, while the second storey of this triple-storey building has been carpeted. Now the new wall curtains and carpeted rooms of the second storey of this ancient building attract more than 200 hundreds visitors daily across Pakistan and abroad. Earlier, the number of the visitors had dropped to only few dozen daily a few years ago due to the miserable condition of this building.

The management has displayed some new rare pictures of Allama Iqbal, his family members, his teachers, class fellows and other leaders of the All India Muslim League in attractive frames. Most of these rare photos have the autographs of the Allama Iqbal. There are more than 4000 old books in the library, established in a small sized room of Iqbal Manzil, while there are 2000 books on “Iqbaliyat” in this library. Officials said that no special budget had ever been allocated by any one for purchasing the books containing the research on Allama Iqbal. They said that all of these 4000 books have been donated by the visitors.

Officials said that now the number of the visitors have jumped up to 200 visitors, who visit Iqbal Manzil daily, as this building has got a new inner look after being electrified properly and carpeted. Earlier, this number had dropped to only few dozen daily due to the crumbling condition if this building. However, the management of this building said that ground floor of Iqbal Manzil would be kept in its original shape.

Concerned officials said that the provincial government had repaired the cracked rusted outer walls of Iqbal Manzil from its back side, after conducting a detailed survey of it under the supervision of a team of senior architects and engineers for preserving this national heritage in its original design and shape.

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