NEILI (Pajhwok): The Chahar Aspan Qala, a historic fort in central Daikundi province, is teetering on the verge of destruction.
The fort is located in the Shahristan district of the province. Its owner has expressed grave concern at the destruction of parts of the building.
The sprawling structure was built 91 years ago by Yousuf Bek, one of the elders of the province. The building was once used for housing foreign dignitaries.
Niamatullah Radfar, the owner who lives in the building along with his family, said he was unable to maintain the historic place.
Radfar told Pajhwok Afghan News that the fort had four towers, each 22 metres high. The distance between the towers is about 70 meters.
He estimates the total area of the building at 400 square metres, having had six living rooms, as many bathrooms, three kitchens and 12 rooms on the second floor.
According to him, a tower and part of the wall have been destroyed and they are unable to rebuild and restore them.
He added archaeologists and culturists from Kabul and Bamyan province had repeatedly tried to repair the damaged parts, but failed to do so, because there was no one with the skill to redesign the fort’s interior to its original state.
During the civil war, he continued, the forte was abandoned for some time. This led to the destruction of one tower and parts of the wall surrounding it.
He called on government officials, UNESCO and other agencies to work on rebuilding its damaged portions.
Pajhwok shared the issue with the Information and Culture Department of Daikundi.
Khudabakhsh Sirat, director of information, said the fort had been registered as a cultural site by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
He recalled: “Last year, the government decided to rebuild the site in accordance with a memorandum of understanding with its owner.”
It was to be handed over to the government for 15 years. But the owner did not sign the memorandum, saying it was his private property and he would not give it to the government.