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Five days to light up monuments

The Commonwealth Games are almost here, but India Tourism Development Corporation hasn't yet finished illuminating 13 heritage monuments — a task it started more than three years ago. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2010 23:22 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The Commonwealth Games are almost here, but India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) hasn't yet finished illuminating 13 heritage monuments — a task it started more than three years ago.

The ITDC had embarked on a project of lighting up the monuments in 2007. The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned R23.75 crore for the same.

The ITDC had promised to complete the work on the monuments by July 2009. But later, the ITDC dropped two structures, Kotla Firoz Shah and Najaf Khan's tomb at Jorbagh, from their list, citing technical reasons.

But now, with just eight more days to the Games, work on only four monuments has been completed. The ITDC has cited "technology change" to "no response to tenders" as reasons for the delay.

First, the agency went from using LED technology to a state-of-the-art design emitting yellow light. "There is lot of ambient lighting in Delhi around monuments. We have to consider this fact while carrying out illumination," said Ravi Pandit, Vice-President (Engineering), ITDC.

Another reason for the delay, was "lack of response to tenders". He said because the job was highly technical, ITDC could find a qualified bidder only in June 2010 after opening tenders for the fifth time.

Pandit, however, asserted that work on the remaining will be complete by September 30.