Soon, a parking lot next to Red Fort | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Soon, a parking lot next to Red Fort

The Archeological Survey of India is constructing a parking lot to the south side of the Red Fort with entry from the Nishad Raj Marg, reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Feb 06, 2009 13:34 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Have you been postponing a visit to the Red Fort just because there is no proper parking facility nearby? Soon, you may be able to park your vehicle right besides the UNESCO listed heritage monument.

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is constructing a parking lot to the south side of the Red Fort with entry from the Nishad Raj Marg (job outsourced to CPWD). Work is in progress at the place, which was once occupied by the Territorial Army camp. It will be able to accommodate around 300 vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers, ASI officials claimed.

The monument used to witnesses anywhere between 6-8,000 visitors regularly before the parking in front of the Red Fort was closed down. Now, in absence of proper parking--the existing one is far away from the monument across the Netaji Subhash Marg--the number of tourists has diminished, especially ever since the busloads of tourists stopped coming.

Denying that the parking lot is in contravention to the rule that there can be no construction within 100 metres of a protected monument, Superintending Archeologist K.K. Muhammed said, "Providing a parking place to tourists/visitors is essential just as providing other amenities like toilets and canteen is and are permissible under rules."

Heritage experts too have applauded the idea. Convenor of the Delhi chapter of INTACH, A.G.K. Menon said, "The basic amenities need to be near the monument. Like parking, can you expect toilets to be far away from the site? The rule is not to have any construction higher than the monument."

But given that the congested area is perennially short of parking places, how can it be ensured that only tourists use it? "The parking will be for tourists till the time the monument is open for visitors," Muhammed said.