It is an early 18th century traditional water system that has a unique method of harnessing run off from the Hauz-i-Shamshi lake in Mehrauli to a pleasure garden with two pavilions and formed a Mughal retreat to beat harsh Delhi summer.
The structure — called Jharna — comprises three parts: the reservoir, the waterfall (complete with a sloping overflow wall) and a series of fountains.
Presently, it lies in dilapidated condition with no water whatsoever and anti-social elements squat for most part of the day.
But now, there is hope in sight for this place. More than three years after they were identified, work for conservation and illumination of 15 heritage structures and monuments — including Jharna — would be taken up by Delhi government’s department of archaeology soon.
Few others of these monuments are unknown tombs and a tomb with enclosure wall in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, baradari and a tomb in Sheikh Sarai and three gateways at Badarpur.
The government is also in the process of renewing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with conservation NGO Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) as the work would be outsourced to it.
The department had issued final notification for protection (under Delhi archaeological act) for more than two-dozen monuments in May.
Apart from renewing the MoU with INTACH, the government will also form a committee to evaluate/monitor work and recommend rates for conservation work.
“This committee would have experts and also officials from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),” said AGK Menon, who heads INTACH’s Delhi chapter.
The MoU duration would be for five years. While conservation and preservation work would be taken up for all 15 monuments and structures, illumination would be done for those that are feasible.
“The cabinet note should be moved soon,” said a senior Delhi government official.