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Govt to revamp heritage routes

PUBLISHED ON SEP 25, 2016 08:47 AM IST

NEW DELHI: 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 and aesthetic manner.

Mehrauli will be developed first. The project is being funded by the Union Ministry of Tourism, for which 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,” said Kapil Mishra, tourism minister.

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 100 crore,” Mishra added.

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 also redeveloped, with provisions for pedestrian walkways, street furniture, and proper signages to aid the public.

There are more plans in the offing.

Interpretation centres will also be constructed near these historic monuments to disseminate the right kind of information and enhance the public’s understanding and perception of the country’s rich and varied heritage.

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