CRUMBLING HERITAGE:ICONIC GGM SCIENCE COLLEGE BUILDING CRUMBLING BRICK BY BRICK
By Mohit Kapoor
Pictures by Sandeep
Iconic GGM Science College building is on the verge of crumbling brick by brick but the state government agencies responsible for maintaining it and restoring its pristine glory are apparently busy decorating houses and offices of mandarins of the state government. Irony is more than 10 years ago the college building, constructed in 1905 to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales,was declared as heritage building but even then no sincere efforts were made during the long gap to resurrect the glorious past of the campus which has shaped careers of hundreds of brilliant students of the state. The college authorities and illustrious alumni spread across different state govt departments have also failed to create a campaign in support of the heritage building. Official records stand testimony to the fact after it was declared heritage building in 2004 University Grants Commission had also sanctioned hefty amount as part of its contribution to be spent on the renovation and restoration work of the building but the same was not utilised for reasons best known to the state govt agencies. Few months ago when a portion of the administrative complex housing office of the College Principal developed some cracks the state govt was approached by the college authorities but no amount for carrying out repair work was sanctioned. Interestingly, a proposal to thrown open the Geology Museum located in the college premises to tourists and outsiders was not taken to its logical conclusion. If approved the college authorities would have raised its own resources and used the same money to carry out desired renovation and restoration work. The museum was founded by the doyen of Indian Geology and institution builder Dr DN Wadia after he joined the Prince of Wales College in 1907. It not only houses the longest fossil tusk of an elephantine mammal ‘Stegodon Ganesha’ measuring 10 feet 9 inches ( believed to the ancestor of the true elephants and mammoths) but have rich geological wealth of different periods of earth’s history. The fossil tusk which till date remains the main attraction geology students in Jammu University was discovered by Dr Wadia during one of his investigative trips in the Siwalik hills of the Jammu region.