Despite being home to several important historical buildings, it seems Delhi does not take pride in its heritage monuments.
Whether it is the widespread instance of grafitti on age-old structures or cases in which heritage buildings have been encroached upon, the city is not exactly friendly towards its heritage. And now there’s proof of this.
According to data released by the government on Tuesday, there are more than 1,000 unprotected monuments in Delhi. These are apart from 174 heritage monuments and structures under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India. According to the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities — established to prepare a national database on monuments from secondary sources — Delhi has as many as 1,180 unprotected monuments.
There are approximately 3,650 monuments and remains of archaeological sites under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) across the country, a number far lower than the actual wealth of tangible heritage.
The National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities (NMMA) was launched in March 2007 to document this heritage.
Around a decade ago, conservation NGO, Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage had come up with a listing of 1,200-odd heritage buildings, monuments, structures and remains across the Capital. These included 174 under ASI.
It's the first time that the government has officially acknowledged that there are 1,000 unprotected monuments in the national capital.
"It is a good thing,” said AGK Menon, Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Delhi chapter head. “They (the government) are beginning to recognise the importance of understanding the dimensions of heritage in the country," Menon added.
"The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has been identified as the documentation resource centre (DRC) for NMMA in Delhi,” said a senior Delhi government official.
“It will carry out various outreach programmes such as heritage walks, photo exhibitions and multimedia publicity programmes," the official added. Rajasthan, with 5,220 unprotected sites tops the list, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 3,653 sites and West Bengal with
The total number of unprotected monuments across the country, so far, is 33,826.