INTACH today opened its new chapter in Bihar's Darbhanga, with its chairman emphasising on systematic listing of heritage buildings, as the first step towards initiating preservation in the historic city. The chapter was inaugurated in Darbhnaga by INTACH Chairman Maj Gen (retd) L K Gupta at the premises of the Lalit Narayan Mithila University, housed in the iconic Raj Palace. "Listing of heritage buildings should be taken up as the first step, since to begin preservation, it is important that first we assess the knowledge wealth that we have," INTACH Bihar Chapter Convener, Prem Sharan, quoted Gupta as saying. The chairman, after opening the chapter, took a tour of the LNMU premises, the Laxmivilas Palace or Anand Bagh Palace (now a Sanskrit university), Nargaouna Palace, Ram Bagh Qila and took stock of the state of the buildings. Gupta also pitched for opening heritage clubs in school and colleges, and carry out awareness campaigns to raise the consciousness of children and the youth about history and heritage. "A professor of the LNMU has been made a convener for Darbhanga Chapter.
A proposal was also made to make LNMU, an institutional member of INTACH, and its vice-chancellor fully supported the move," Sharan told PTI. The opening of the new chapter, incidentally coincided with the culmination of the World Heritage Week which began on November 19. Darbhanga is situated in the historic Mithila region and is home to several landmarks, many of which were rebuilt after the devastating 1934 earthquake. Other prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Zilla School, Zilla Hospital, Bela Palace, now housing the Postal Training College and the Lakshmiswar Public Libray. Last December, INTACH had opened a chapter in Bhagalpur, Bihar's silk city, after setting up Vaishali Chapter earlier in 2015. Patna Chapter, constituted soon after the creation of INTACH in 1984, is one of the first chapters opened by the Delhi-based non-profit organisation. "Darbhanga has a number of palaces and heritage buildings which are in immediate need of conservation and restoration. And, now we carry out a systematic and formal listing of the historical landmarks and work on preservation plans," Convener of Patna Chapter, J K Lall said. Headquartered in New Delhi, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), besides the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), works on protection, conservation and promotion of tangible and intangible heritage, through its nearly 190 chapters spread across the country in various cities.