The romantic ‘night tourism’ project has hit a dark roadblock. As part of the ambitious plan, work on illuminating important heritage monuments in the city was to be completed before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Two years after it was first announced, not even the first phase of the project is complete.
The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which has been entrusted with the task by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is to carry out illumination in the first phase at Rs 23.75 crore. The first phase involved illuminating 13 heritage monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India.
ITDC has completed work only at Purana Qila; Sher Shah Gate and Masjid (opposite the Delhi zoo); the Subz Burz monument and the Safdarjung’s Tomb. The remaining nine monuments were to be illuminated by July 2009. But three months past the promised deadline, work has not even started at the sites. The concerned officials are blaming “technology change” for the delay.
For Safdarjung’s monument, the corporation had adopted LED (light emitting diode) technology to throw ‘milky light’ on the monument. But the LED plan has been scrapped for something more modern.
“There has been continuous innovation in LED technology. We are now opting for latest technology — metal halide lamps," ITDC General Manager (Engineering) Ravi Pandit told Hindustan Times.
Pandit said the work can be expected to be complete by February 2010.