A day-long deliberation at Khalsa College of Education (KCE) on Thursday on "Heritage conservation in Punjab: Issues and strategies", marking the World Heritage Day, stressed on teaching heritage conservation as a subject in schools.
The key speaker, Prof Balvinder Singh, head, Guru Ram Das School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, said there was an urgent need to create awareness about "our living history" and efforts must be made to preserve "relics of the past".
"The government should take steps to preserve historical buildings and sites. Awareness at the school level about our rich heritage is a must. We must protect our historical sites and towns, including capitals of formerly princely states'', he said.
Talking about the ongoing preservation works, Prof Balwinder gave examples of such efforts currently underway in Amritsar. "There is good work going on. The conservation work is on at Golden Temple complex, Baba Atal, Gobindgarh fort and Ram Bagh gardens, but we need to focus on the areas in the wall city, where the bylaws are playing havoc with the old buildings," he said, adding that all the efforts that are underway to preserve heritage must be reviewed.
Prof Balvinder laid emphasis on linking conservation with "heritage tourism". "Pilgrim and tourist circuits must be developed to encourage heritage tourism and earn revenue and generate employment. This will also help conserve the buildings," he said.
"Punjab, especially Amritsar, has many historical sites, including Khalsa College complexes where the conservation and preservation work had been carried out in a big way. We need to focus more on it," he added.