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Unguarded heritage to get saviours

delhi Updated: May 05, 2011 01:47 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Restoration of 50 unprotected historic monuments, heritage walks for Delhiites — especially for senior citizens and school children — involvement of RWAs to take care of monuments in their neighbourhood and an interactive Facebook page.

That is what SRDC is planning to spread awareness about the capital's bounty of heritage.

Ahead of applying for UNESCO's World Heritage City status, Delhi government's Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) is doing the groundwork for the awareness drive.

A formal launch will follow after the summer.

Delhi's department of archaeology has handed over 50 as-yet-unprotected monuments to the SRDC. Conservation notes for five of these monuments have been prepared by Jamia Milia Islamia, while the School of Planning and Architecture has prepared similar documents for three.

"We are also empanelling private firms and conservation architects to outsource conservation work for these monuments," said Savitur Prasad, SRDC managing director. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/040511/05_05_11-metro-4.jpg

These little known unprotected monuments include Zail at Bawana, Muluk's tomb at Humayunpur (near Safdarjung Enclave), embankment inside the Talkatora garden and Kharbuje Ka Gumbad at Panchsheel Enclave.

The embankment inside the Talkatora garden is structure from the late Mughal-era with lakhori brick masonry and has a domed roof, once an embankment. It is said that the embankment could be remains of a building that was once a hunting lodge of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah.

The corporation's focus is on involvement of citizens through heritage walks. The SRDC has already chosen 10 schools from each district and identified two monuments each in the respective schools' neighbourhood for programmes associated with it.

The corporation has also roped in Navina Jafa, a cultural historian, as heritage consultant. Training of heritage walk leaders has already commenced with 165 teachers from almost 120 schools — both government and private — attending the sessions. "There are plans to integrate heritage walks with HOHO buses to take people easily to the identified heritage trails/walks," the officer added.

The first of such walks, titled 'Sufi Landscapes of Delhi', would take citizens through the meandering lanes and bye-lanes of Mehrauli, one of the oldest settlements of Delhi.

"The walk would be inaugurated by PK Tripathi, Delhi's chief secretary, who is also the chairperson of the SRDC," said Jafa, who will be executing the walking exhibit during the walk.

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