Journey through Bangladesh
Tarash Bhaban: Falling Apart
The 'Tarash Bhaban' or Tarash Building which was built in the 18th century is situated in the middle of Pabna Town on Abdul Hamid road of the district. The historic Tarash Building is pretty quickly getting ruined due to negligence in part of the authorities and the lack of maintenance, the Department of Archaeology sources informed.
The historic structure remains uncared for and unprotected. The boundary walls of this structure have been torn down. Most of the grills of the windows have been stolen. Locals, troublemakers of all sorts and drug pushers have used the place as a venue to congregate.
Locals say that three caretakers were employed here to maintain this archeological site but they have usually been reluctant to do their jobs. Authorities at the Department of Archaeology said that the caretakers often just slacked off as there is not adequate supervising.
“Archaeological departments had employed three caretakers from the locality to maintain the historic Tarash Building. The nearest monitoring authorities are in the regional office in Bogra. This gives the caretakers plenty of room to not do their job,” said Md Abdul Khaleque, Regional Director of the Department of Archaeology.
As the history goes, the Tarash Building was built in the early 18th century. The landlord of the region Roy Bahadur Bonosmali Roy had built this large structure to collect tolls from the people of the region. The main gate of the building was built extra high to allow elephants to go in and out. This is our largest brick-built two-storey building.
The pillars and outer walls have artistic designs on them. The outer design and the natural colour of this building are falling apart due to poor maintenance and negligence sources claimed. Department of Archeology sources said manpower and lack of funding is standing in the way of repair and maintenance.
“We simply don't have the money to fix the Tarash Building. The place is therefore in pretty bad shape. Moreover, the Department of Archaeology fails to work on the building due lack of manpower,” said an official of the Archaeology Department.
People of the district demand proper care of this important piece of the region's heritage. Some have wanted a museum to be built inside the building.
“The people of the district have demanded several times and on several occasions for the establishment of an archaeological or freedom fighters museum. The authorities are yet to show any interest in the museum concept. It's a shame that this piece of history is falling apart,” said Advocate Shafiqul Islam Shibli.
The join convener of the Shammilito Shangshkritik Jote, Pabna, and the President of Pabna Drama Circle Gopal Sannyal said that cultural activists demanded several times to open up the structure as a place where cultural activities can take place.
“The historic Tarash building should open for cultural activists. This should be a cultural platform. We keep telling this to the authorities but nobody has really listened to us.” Gopal Sannyal said.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008