Srinagar: The 619 years old historical Jamia Masjid located in the heart of Srinagar will be examined by a team of experts from the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in the second week of March after a gap of five years.
In a report, SKUAST said, “Around 36 wooden pillars on the eastern/southern side of the Jamia Masjid were found infested with pinhole symptoms up to 10 feet height and 20-30 holes per wooden pillars were recorded.”
“This type of damage is caused by powder-post beetle as dust-like powdered frass (Mixture of faecal matter and food fragments) occasionally fall out of exit holes into small piles on the surface of wooden logs,” the report reads.
“The pillars are serving a permanent reservoir of these pests which are likely to render hollow them inside,” it said.
While talking to KNO, Haji Mohammad Altaf, General Secretary of the Jamia Auqaf said, “After every five years, we call SKUAST entomology experts to do a thorough inspection of the mosque.”
“Due to COVID-19, we could not call them for the last 2 years and now we are writing to them again to visit here so that we can address whatever is needed,“ Altaf said.
“The process of injecting pillars with insecticide takes almost three months but this year, we finished injecting all 360 poles before March and it is going successful as no new hole is taking place,” he said.
Dr Jamal, an entomologist from SKUAST, told KNO that “due to COVID-19, we could not visit Jamia Masjid and now we are waiting for the call from Auqaf and we will be visiting again in the second week of March.”
When asked about the cracks in the bottom of pillars, Dr Jamal said, “In our last visit we had noticed some cracks in the bottom of some pillars but it is possible as these pillars are hundreds of years old, and the wood experts can deal with that.” (KNO)