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Restoration of Mehrauli monuments to be complete by monsoon: Delhi LG

Mar 04, 2024 05:18 AM IST

A DDA official said that the LG was accompanied by DDA and ASI officials in Mehrauli Archaeological Park and Sanjay Van

Lieutenant governor VK Saxena said on Sunday that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will comprehensively restore heritage monuments in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park and Sanjay Van before the onset of the monsoon.

Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena (ANI)
Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena (ANI)

Saxena said in a series of posts on social media website X that he visited the heritage sites on Sunday after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) handed them over to DDA.

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“I instructed DDA to immediately conserve and restore Balban’s Tomb, Jamali Kamali, and Rajon ki Baoli in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, and Lalkot Baoli Qila Rai Pithora in Sanjay Van, under the supervision of ASI before the onset of monsoon this year. These heritage monuments, which are in the middle of forests, will be the new found assets for the Capital and will help Delhi emerge as a heritage city,” said Saxena.

A DDA official said that the LG was accompanied by DDA and ASI officials in Mehrauli Archaeological Park and Sanjay Van. “We have been asked to chalk out a concrete plan of action and complete the works before the onset of monsoon this year. DDA will undertake the exercise of redevelopment of all these monuments on its own expense,” said the DDA offiical.

The LG secretariat said that these sites have been handed over to DDA for conservation, restoration and redevelopment works on the request of LG Saxena to Union culture minister G Kishan Reddy. “The culture ministry has also agreed that DDA will use its resources to execute the conservation works while ASI, with all its expertise, will supervise the conservation works. A high level committee under the chairmanship of secretary (culture), govt. of India, will monitor the progress and ensure timely completion of works on all the three sites,” the LG secretariat said in a statement.

HT had reported on Saturday that DDA planned to take up the conservation of other protected structures at the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Sanjay Van, and Shalimar Bagh at its own cost. LG Saxena wrote to Reddy about the matter and it was decided that ASI would hand over the monuments in these three parks to DDA for restoration and redevelopment, a statement from the LG’s office said.

The Mehrauli Archaeological Park in south Delhi, adjacent to Qutub Minar, is spread across 200 acres. It is known to have more than 100 monuments and ruins. Sanjay Van also houses several monuments include Qila Rai Pithora, once the capital of Prithviraj Chauhan. The other monuments there include Rajon Ki Baoli and Anangtal Baoli, which will now be taken up for restoration.

Recently, in two separate anti-encroachment drives in Mehrauli Archaeological Park as well as Sanjay Van, DDA’s role had been criticised after it demolished several centuries-old religious structures.

Saxena on Sunday also visited a flower festival and his office said that DDA is planning to make Delhi a “city of flowers”. The two-day festival hosted at DDA Greens — Shivaji Marg, Rohtak Road started on Saturday.

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