MULTAN-World’s famous centuries old monument, the mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam, has been reported damaged at its main entrance and required immediate repair, officials said on Tuesday.

The historical building that was declared the best conserved monument and had won Agha Khan Award few decades ago, is surviving at Qasim Fort, located on a mound, the highest place in the city of saints.

The Archaeology Department Multan has sent a report to high-ups, stating that a water-cooler placed on the north of the ‘Deorhi’ (entrance) of the monument could be the reason behind the damage. The water-cooler was removed lately.

Water is drained out through a covered drain; however, it was cleaned about 15 to 16 years back by the Archaeology Department. The monument has been under the administrative control of the Auqaf Department which did not provide annual maintenance funds to the Archaeology Department, an official said.

There are vertical cracks on outer and inner side of the entrance gate. Boundary wall on the southern and western side of the monument has also been damaged. The western portion of the ‘Deorhi’ has bulged out and surrounding area floor subsided. The damaged part of the structure may have its joints loosened and any delay in the repair and conservation may expand the extent of damage to the rest of the structure and pose risk to lives. The report proposed joint visit by senior officials of the Auqaf and Archaeology departments to take a decision about its repair.

When contacted, Zonal Administrator Auqaf Multan Ziaul Mustafa informed this agency that the matter was in his knowledge and a contractor had been asked to clean the drain immediately to end chances of further water seepage into the structure.

Moreover, he said that the Auqaf Dept has already sent a proposal to the govt for expansion of the mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam from its main entrance gate to the ablution point outside the monument. The Rs15m proposal included expansion of monument till the ablution point, flooring similar to its courtyard, drainage system, reconstruction of ablution place and toilet block, and installation of circular razor wire on top of the boundary wall for security, an Auqaf Sub-Engineer Azam Ali said, adding that it would be taken up in the fiscal year 2019-20, subject to approval.