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Archives Dept to recheck credentials of firm granted conservation project

March 16, 2018

Srinagar, Mar 15: Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums (AA&M) is going to recheck credentials of the firm awarded the Rs 1.36-crore artifacts conservation project.
The AA&M has awarded the project involving restoration and conservation work of flood-hit artifacts at the SPS Museum at Lal Mandi to the New Delhi-based ‘Sagar NGO’.
The damaged artifacts include precious manuscripts, rare textiles and paper machie items damaged in the 2014 deluge.
The directorate’s decision to verify the Sagar NGO’s work profile comes after a Jaipur-based firm ‘Art Conservation and Restoration House’ questioned the former’s credentials as an art conservation firm.
Sagar NGO, the Jaipur-based firm alleged, is not from the art conservation field, but from ‘History of Art’.
Sagar NGO, as per the Jaipur-based firm, has bribed the AA&M to get the project.
While genuine contenders were deliberately bypassed, Sagar, the firm alleged, was selected “despite not being from the relevant field”.
‘Art Conservation and Restoration House’ was also in fray for the project during tendering process.
Director AA&M, Mohammad Shafi Zahid, told The Kashmir Monitor that they have asked Sagar NGO to produce its “original documents by March 22”.
“We will verify where and how big projects the firm has actually worked on,” Zahid said.
Does the Sagar NGO’s work profile turn out to be unsatisfactory, the AA&M, Zahid said, would cancel the tenders.
While the AA&M would check the credentials of the Sagar NGO, Zahid said they had asked the aggrieved Jaipur-based firm to “formally register its complaint”.
“They (the Jaipur-based firm) have also alleged that Sagar has not done any comprehensive project before as we have awarded to it. That is why we have asked Sagar NGO to produce its work profile. We will see how many big projects, in terms of cost, it has handled.”

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