The Delhi government will seek funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for the development and maintenance of Shahjahanabad to restore the heritage area to its lost glory.
Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation, the premier autonomous agency that will oversee and coordinate all activities, considers restoring old havelis as one of its focus areas. As the owners may or may not be able to afford to spend much, the Corporation — whose members met for the first time some days ago — envisages roping in help from NGOs and conservation consultants.
“A survey of all such buildings would be made before embarking on any work. We plan to apply for funds under JNNURM for heritage conservation/restoration work to be done by/supervised by Corporation,” Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, who heads the body, said.
The Corporation has a panel of conservation consultants like Satish Jacob, O.P. Jain and Abhimanyu Dalal and government officials like the secretaries from the finance and tourism departments.
“Although a lot of things can be done, we are going ahead step by step as conserving and restoring Shahjahanabad will take time,” Mehta added.
The Corporation would meet and get inputs from all stakeholders like businesspeople, residents, bus routes systems and even wholesale traders, conservation consultant Abhimanyu Dalal said, adding: “Delhi Master Plan 2021 has a special provision for local area development. The Corporation can be a nice link between public organisations and individuals.”
Mehta said the Corporation’s other initiative would be laying underground cables to replace all hanging wires and other over ground utilities.
“Although no concrete plans were discussed in the first meeting, discussions were held for restoration of the whole look, ambience and the heritage character of famous places like Dariba Kalan and Parathewali Gali,” Mehta added.