Rs45m okayed for artisan village

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governmentPESHAWAR, Dec 25: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has approved an initial amount of Rs45.28 million for the establishment of an artisan village at the historic Gor Khuttree area here to promote local culture, official sources told this correspondent.

“The establishment of the cultural tourism centre or artisan village will be completed in three years with an estimated cost of Rs108.98 million, of which Rs45.28 million has been approved to be used in the current financial year,” they said.

The sources said that the project was under consideration since May 2010, but funds were approved recently at a high-level meeting at the planning and development department.Traditional food bazaar, arts and crafts bazaar, artisan-at-work shops and artisans-at-work festival (lok mela) would be established at the artisan village, they said.Other components of the village would be folk entertainment, puppet shows, folk songs and dances, music concerts, craft bazaar, local pavilions (Lok Virsa style) and dance ensemble.

Under the plan, Rs45.72 million have been allocated for administrative expenses, Rs7.2 million for hiring of heritage team, Rs18.7 for establishment of various artifact shops and food stalls, conservation of fire brigade building and two gateways. Besides, Rs2.6 million will be provided for giving incentives for learning local crafts, Rs5 million for expenses on renovating the cells in a manner not to disfigure their originality for hosting artisan village, including food stalls, and Rs18.46 million for display and marketing centre, the sources said.

The activities of the artisan village would be administered by a board of directors (BOD) with minister for archaeology as its chairman. The board members include managing director of Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, district coordination officer, Peshawar, a representative of the Unesco and the project director.Giving details of a meeting held in this regard the other day, the officials said that creation of posts like archeology and technical advisors was raised, while representatives of tourism and archeology department said that professionals for such posts would be hired from the market for successful implementation of the project. It has been planned that after three years the project would be self-sustainable.

The officials said that the establishment of the artisan village was part of the plan for development of the local arts and crafts and economic development of the local communities.Such efforts include the establishment of artisan villages at the district level where common facilities for work, display, marketing and skills training were to be provided to encourage.more people to become involved in this profession and contribute to the economic development of the area.It would give communities an incentive to protect and preserve their culture for the future generation. The officials said that the artisan villages would not only provide facilities to the artisans, but also become tourist attractions in their own right. – Dawn