Like other relics of the Muktagacha dynasty in Mymensingh, a part of zamindar Nagendra Narayan Acharya Chowdhury's house is still to be taken over by Department of Archeology [DoA] as a Protected Archeological Monument.
The historic house is on the verge of collapse due to years of neglect by the authorities. Deserted over 60 years ago, the house is engulfed with weeds due to lack of proper maintenance and no one has come forward to take the responsibility of caring for the heritage building.
The zamidars left the country after partition in 1947 and since then the house has remained uncared for. The doors and windows of the house were stolen over time. The mosaic floor though is still in good condition.
Zamider Nagendra Narayan allotted a portion of his palace to establish a school at the house to educate female members of the zamindars' family in 1907. The house with six-rooms and a staircase at the back was greatly admired by other zamindars of Muktagacha.
As the number of students increased, the school was shifted to an adjacent site in 1940 and it is now Nagendra Narayan Pilot Girls High School.
If some repair work is carried out on the roof of the house and the doors and windows are set in place, the building could withstand the elements for many years, said teachers of Nagendra Narayan Pilot Girls High School.
“We repaired one room of the six-room building to use it as a storeroom for abandoned articles of the school,” said Ashotush Sarker, headmaster of the school. K.M Khaled Babu, MP, from Muktagacha and upazila nirbahi officer recently visited the school and assured that the local authorities would take necessary steps to protect the house, informed the headmaster.
On different occasions locals have demanded the renovation of the deserted houses of Muktagacha zamindars but all their appeals have gone in vain, said Devasish Ghosh Bappi, vice-chairman of Muktagacha upazila parishad.
Advocate Badar Uddin Ahmed, Muktagacha Upazila Parishad chairman told this correspondent that there has been no well thought out initiative to preserve the historic relics of Muktagacha.
No one has come forward to take care of the heritage site. Photo: Ridwan Adid Rupon
Shyamol Krishna Chakraborty, a veteran porohit (priest) of Muktagacha said that the temples built during the zamindars' period have historic appeal and should be protected without delay.
The DoA has taken six sites under its wing but there are also some sites in Muktagacha with same historical importance, said Shyamol Krishna.
The glorious past of Muktagacha can only be preserved thorough care of all historic sites such as Boro Hishyabazar Kali Mandhir, Pilkhana Brammah-Bishnu-Moheswar Mandhir, Atani Bazar Gouranga Mandhir, Kutubpur Shiva Mandhir, Kirtankhola Mandhir, Laxmikhola Shiva Mandhir and Rajrajeswari Mandhir, Shyamol Krishna urged.
An official of DoA, on condition of anonymity, told this correspondent that due to a shortage of manpower in the department, many archeological sites in Mymensingh region are yet to be traced.