In order to boost tourism, the Delhi government is all set to improve the surroundings and roads leading to popular and lesser known monuments.
The plan is based on a proposal prepared by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
INTACH has proposed seven routes--Mehrauli, Tughlaqabad and Surajkund, Hauz Khas and Safdarjung’s Tomb, Nizamuddin, Purana Qila and Lodi Gardens, Shahjahanabad, and New Delhi-- to link various heritage sites and precincts in a systematic manner.
Mehrauli will be developed first. The project is being funded by the Union Ministry of Tourism, for which R 100 crore will be allocated. The Delhi government’s tourism department may be appointed as a nodal agency for the execution of all heritage routes.
The concept for the Mehrauli route is likely to be submitted to the government by the end of this month, after which a detail project report will be prepared. Work on the project will begin once it is approved.
“Three circuits--heritage , Mughal garden, and Sufi-- have been planned to promote tourism in the city. There are seven routes under the heritage circuit and Mehrauli is one of them. We are working on the proposal for Mehrauli for which the Centre will allocate R 100 crore,” said Kapil Mishra, Delhi’s Tourism Minister.
Planned routes will connect monuments and other places of interest like a theme museum, traditional bazaar, eateries, sites of cultural events, and interpretation centre, situated in close proximity. There will be washrooms, ATMs, cafeterias, and souvenir shops with adequate parking facilities. Kiosks with proper design, lighting arrangement, and landscaping have also been planned.
The highlight of this plan is the training of guides to conduct heritage walks as an income generating activity for the locals.
“The project is like soft development, which is likely to boost Delhi’s economy six times by generating numerous opportunity in the service industry. Presently, Delhi is used as transit hub, not as a tourist hub. The heritage circuit is to ensure that a tourist spends 5-7 days in the city,” said Prof A G Krishna Menon, Convenor, INTACH’s Delhi chapter.
As part of the project, roads in the vicinity of the monuments will be redeveloped with provision for pedestrian walkways, street furniture, and proper signages. Interpretation centres will also be constructed near monuments to disseminate the right information and enhance the understanding of heritage.
*A skywalk or elevated walkway connecting 13th century brick minaret, Qutb Minar to Qutb Minar metro station along the Mehrauli Archaeological park
*A museum at Dak Bungalow
*An interpretation centre at Lal Kot
*Landscaping, street lighting, and public conveniences at Yogmaya Temple
*Restoration of MCD library building in Mehrauli Village
*Pedestrian way, underground cabling, street furniture, and signages at Hauz -i-Shamsi
*Waste management and garbage collection system in Mehrauli village