Twenty-one out of 36 towers at an ancient fort in the historic city of Ghani have collapsed over the past decade due to conflicts, rain, and neglect.
The Bala Hisar Fort, also known as Ghaznain Fort, dating back 2,000 years, is located in three kilometers of distance from the Kabul-Ghazni Highway where many explosions have happened over the years which has damaged the historical site.
“Mud has been used in protection and renovation of many towers of the fort which do not have the capacity to protect the monument,” said Abdul Ghafoor Hamidi, an archaeologist.
Local officials said that almost $800,000 was allocated by Germany’s Aachen University to protect the fort in 2013, but the former head of historical sites of the Ministry of Information and Culture said the contractor company had pledged to protect the towers only for one year.
“The money allocated for renovation of the fort was not spent effectively,” he said.
The fort has only two security guards.
“The authority of the budget was not handed to the Ministry of Information and Culture and we did not have a monitoring role [in spending the budget],” said Hamidullah Sarwari, former head of the Information and Culture Directorate in Ghazni.
But, back in 2013, Sarwari said that the ministry was monitoring the renovation of the Ghaznain Fort.
Local officials said they have recommended the renovation of the fort two times in the past three months, but their demand was not addressed.
“The renovation of historical sites require professional facilities. We need help,” the deputy governor of Ghazni, Mohammad Amin Mubaligh, said.
According to local officials and residents, four towers from the remaining 14 are on the verge of collapse.