It was set up with an aim to conserve the culture and heritage of the historical Walled city of Delhi six years ago. With no tangible improvement — neither in the civic infrastructure nor the way the heritage structures are looked after — being showed by the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC), Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has decided to take up its reins.
Highly-placed sources in Delhi government said Dikshit will soon take over as the chairperson of the corporation. This position was so far being held by the chief secretary of Delhi. However, with little work to show to the residents of the Walled city, who were promised better civic infrastructure with the setting up of SRDC, Dikshit has decided to herself become the boss of the body.
With assembly elections due in 2013, sources said, Delhi government is going all out to make the electorate happy. While on one side the government is trying to legalise settlements, Walled city is set to become another priority area for the government.
Dikshit had earlier decided to make Chandni Chowk MLA Prahlad Singh Sawhney the chairman of the Corporation. However, objection from other stakeholders forced her to take up the job herself.
The SRDC was initially formed to preserve, maintain and restore the natural heritage in the Walled city. The government later brought preservation and maintenance of heritage buildings, historical landmarks under it. The body also took over more than 50 monuments from the Archaeological Survey of India under its wings.
"The SRDC failed to maintain those monuments and returned them to the ASI. It has done little apart from heritage walks and running awareness campaigns," said a senior official associated with the project.