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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Delhi Civic body still to keep museum promise

Ritam Halder , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 17, 2013
First Published: 13:44 IST(17/9/2013) | Last Updated: 13:52 IST(17/9/2013)

The science museum in south Delhi’s RK Puram, which was supposed to get a facelift following the municipal corporation’s announcement that it was renaming and renovating the building as a tribute to the December 16 gang rape victim, is still a run-down spot. Sources said funds for the proposed renovation was yet to arrive.

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On February 6, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation had announced that it would name its science museum for children in RK Puram after the 23-year-old woman.

It had also said the renovation, for which Rs. 20 crore had reportedly been earmarked, would be complete by the end of the financial year. However, after around eight months, the structure, which was inaugurated on September 27, 1985, by Krishna Chandra Pant, the then Union education minister, remains as appalling as it during the time of the announcement.

Leader of the House Subhash Arya said the funds for the project were yet to be alloted.

“The funds are stuck in paperwork. However, by April next year, the renovation should be complete,” Arya said, adding that the government agencies that are to fund the project will disburse the money soon.

When this correspondent visited the museum on Monday, a grim picture of empty promises and neglect emerged.

The six dull rooms are divided into sections — Body and Health, Transportation, History of Man, Ecology, India’s Energy Resources and Earth and Origin of Life.

Though the five other rooms look archaic and in need of major overhaul, The India’s Energy Resources room remains simply locked, according to museum staff, for ages.

There are huge green patches on sections to keep rabbits along the lone hallway which have been tagged to be renovated.

The roof looks weak in patches.

The empty reception section is in a shambles.

The auditorium needs to be demolished and reconstructed, according to museum employees.

Dhrub Prasad Soni, assistant curator of the Children Resource Centre Museum at Sector 6 in RK Puram, said the work should start soon.

“We are waiting for it quite eagerly. A renovation and upgrade will do wonders to this museum,” Soni said. Conservation of Humayun’s Tomb was done by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture along with the Archaeological Survey of India, with co-funding by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.

Persian blue tiles on the roof canopies were prepared by youth from the adjoining Nizamuddin Basti, trained under the guidance of master craftsmen from Uzbekistan

Archival research, documentation, including 3-D laser scanning technology, used before conservation work started

Conservation work undertaken for the main Humayun’s Tomb complex 1556: Mughal king Humayun is dead 1569: His widow Hamida Banu Begum commences construction of his tomb 1993: Declared as a World Heritage Site 26 acres: The area of main Humayun’s Complex Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian, was the architect employed for the purpose The Tomb: The structure is at the centre of a garden, divided into four main parts separated by causeways (charbagh pattern).

Over 20,000 sq m of wall and ceiling surfaces was re-plastered using lime mortar, prepared in a lime wheel with additives such as molasses and egg white

Problem of water seepage was taken care of by filling joints of the white marble dome prior to restoration of plasterwork on the inner face Problems: The main marble dome and roof had suffered seepage, the blue Persian tiles were missing, plaster had fallen off at several places on the wall and ceiling surfaces, the decorative recessed arches had been disfigured and the insides of the main mausoleum bore graffiti.


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