Monument conservation project stuck

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NEW DELHI: A project for the conservation of 16 unprotected monuments is stuck due to lack of funds. With no government now in power in Delhi, officials say clearances for Phase II of the project—conceived by Delhi government’s archaeological department and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach)—could take several months. Meanwhile, new encroachments on the monuments have pushed up the cost of the project by 10-20%.

The last MOU between Delhi government and Intach, signed for a period of three years, had expired over a year ago and included only 95 of the 250 structures initially identified in 2008. The new agreement is for a period of five years. Officials said the aim was to conserve 94 monuments, but with work for Phase II yet to begin, sources said meeting that target could become very difficult. “The work order for Phase II is yet to be issued though the survey and documentation work has been completed. Work will begin as soon as funds are released,” said a source.

Monuments identified for conservation in Phase II include Baradari at Sadhna Enclave, several tombs in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, a tomb in Katwaria Sarai and Gautam Nagar, and three gateways at Badarpur. The list of monuments was sent to the LG’s office for preliminary notification several months ago. “After this, the public will be asked if they have any objection to the monuments being declared protected heritage buildings. If objections are received, their authenticity will be verified by the revenue department, and the list will be sent back to the LG’s office for final notification,” said a government official.

While work on Phase II is yet to begin, monuments conserved under Phase I are yet to get final notification.


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