In a bid to preserve the cultural heritage of the national capital, a MoU has been signed for a project on ‘Conservation, Development & Maintenance of Purana Qila’ between ASI, NCF and NBCC.
The Purana Qila (Old Fort) is scheduled to get a makeover as part of a public sector construction undertaking funded by the NBCC under its CSR operations. The sustenance endeavour will have NBCC providing INR 14.35 billion over the next five years. To mark the purpose, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), National Culture Fund (NCF) and NBCC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), according to an official report. The agreement was signed by Rakesh Singh Lal, Additional Director General (ASI), KL Dhingra, CEO, NCF and Rajendra Wanchoo, CGM, NBCC (India) Limited in the presence of Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Dr Mahesh Sharma.
The project execution will be done in three phases, starting with basic conservation and restoration methods, revamping and extending the museum and parking space and will finally focus on excavation and display. The manoeuvre order came as a breather for Delhi Tourism Board, which has been seeing upsetting figures in terms of revenue generated from tourist activities in the Purana Qila. The Purana Qila lake, a popular tourist destination, which garners a huge revenue, has dried up. A Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) official reported, “Boating used to earn us INR 600,000 per month, on an average, and during the peak season, it would go up to INR 900,000. Our monthly electricity bill to maintain the facility comes to around INR 45,000 and with 70 boats, we have assets worth INR 2 crore lying unused.”
The Purana Qila is the perfect amalgamation of Islamic and Hindu architecture, and has several spots of touristic interest like the octagonal Sher Mahal, originally constructed for entertainment purposes, the museum which has a vast array of Mughal artefacts for display, the Purana Qila Lake, where films like ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’, starring Kangna Ranaut and R Madhavan, were shot and the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid, a prayer hall erected by Sher Shah Suri.
DTTDC anticipates better footfall owing to development of various tourist related amenities in and around the Qila. They believe that the signed project will bring about the highlight in terms of historical and cultural exploration and value. The project also ensures advanced preservation and presentation of the monumental complex.