15 monuments slated for facelift this year

Even as several heritage structures in the city cry for conservation, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage plans to conserve 15 monuments this year in association with the Delhi government's Department of Archaeology .

INTACH is a non-profit organisation, completed the conservation of 19 monuments in 2011. It has been acting as an expert body giving consultancy to the government on conservation of monuments. It also plays the role of a pressure group in highlighting the need of conservation of the country’s heritage.

The 15 selected monuments are part of the 1,208 heritage structures identified in 2000. They are also notified as per the Delhi Master Plan, 2021.

While one of the chronic problems of all heritage structures is encroachment, the monuments which will undergo facelift this year are largely encroachment free.

“Majority of the monuments in the list are encroachment free. Whatever small encroachments are there, will not be much of a problem. Monuments which have a high degree of encroachment have several legal issues involved. Therefore, we decided to give priority to such structures,” says Ajay Kumar, senior project manager, INTACH.

The list of monuments includes three gateways and ancient remains at Badarpur Sarai; a tomb and Baradari in Sadhna Enclave; Chaumachi Khan’s Tomb in Mehrauli; a tomb in the Archaeological park in Mehrauli, apart from the northern and the southern guard house; Baoli in Dwarka; and a tomb each in Katwaria Sarai and Gautam Nagar.

“The archaeological park in Mehrauli was lost over time. But after conservation the park is an important location on the tourist map of the Capital. Similarly, the Baoli in Dwarka can become a major hit amongst residents in the area as there are not many monuments located in west Delhi,” says Ajay Kumar.

The ASI has the mandate of protecting and conserving monuments of national importance. Its officials say organisations like INTACH have a big role to play in conservation of monuments with local importance.

“While the role of organisation like INTACH and state Archaeology Department is important, in cities like Delhi the role of municipal bodies—MCD and NDMC—is equally important,” says Mohammad K K, superintendent archaeologist, ASI.

Out of over 1,200 heritage structures in the Capital, at least 1,000 structures come under the ambit of the two municipal bodies – Municipal Corporation of Delhi and New Delhi Municipal Council.

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