A fresh diktat by the Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje would leave the stately Albert Hall in Jaipur pining for birds, forever. Every day the Albert Hall comes alive with the fluttering of a thousand pigeons that flock to the monument for a mouthful of feed handed by regular visitors.
If Raje has her way, this would never happen again. The historic monument has been closed to visitors for a year.
<b1>The innocent pigeons apparently blot the vision of heritage that the Chief Minister has of the Albert Hall. Imagine, no cuckoo singing, no pigeons muttering and jostling for food grains and no parrots looking down calmly with an understanding repose!
Only the Albert Hall protected by strong fences and made to look grand by lavishing Rs 4 crore on its renovation. Raje has ordered that the pigeons be shooed away from the monument, which is more than 140 years old.
"The pigeons are damaging the beauty of this building. We would bring falcons (prey birds) at the Albert Hall so that they fly elsewhere," Raje told media on Tuesday.
A falcon expert and trainer Shahid Khan gave a live demonstration with trained falcon at the museum on how the purpose would be achieved. But he warns that, "The falcon instills fear in the other birds as well. It is like the lion of the jungle. When it is flying, other birds leave the area." So, it is a matter of time when all birds in the vicinity of the Albert Hall would vanish.
Govind Yadav of the tourism and wildlife society was shocked and disgusted on learning that the birds would have to take refuge elsewhere so that the 'sarkari vision' of the heritage Albert Hall is achieved. "The birds have taken to this habitat. This is injustice. They should not be forced to desert the place," he told HT.
The monument also houses the state museum that was built by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868. Its architecture has been fashioned on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The winged visitors have been flocking to this monument located inside the Ram Niwas Garden for more than a century.
The Archeology Department director, BL Gupta has told media persons that restoration work of the heritage building has started. The work would be completed by May 2008.