In a significant rejuvenation effort, a cluster of monuments and a historic water body within the expansive Mehrauli Archaeological Park in south Delhi, which had long suffered neglect, have undergone a remarkable transformation through a restoration initiative.
The initiative, carried out under the aegis of a revival project, was unveiled on Friday evening by Lieutenant Governor (LG) V K Saxena. The unveiling ceremony took place at the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, situated adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar.
“Delhi is steeped in heritage, and it is imperative to preserve it. Just a few months ago, this area was overgrown with dense vegetation, scattered with debris, and the water body was clogged with silt. However, in the span of 6-7 months, the area has undergone a remarkable transformation,” said Saxena during his visit to the park, which falls under the purview of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Saxena, who also serves as the chairman of the DDA, highlighted the need for similar endeavors in the future, expressing plans for additional heritage site restoration projects.
He affirmed that action would be taken against illegally constructed structures while legally established ones would remain untouched.
Accompanied by DDA officials and other dignitaries, Saxena inspected several refurbished iconic sites within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, such as the Quli Khan Tomb, Balban Tomb complex, and Metcalf House. Notably, an unnamed circular monument, as per an adjacent inscription stone, has been thoughtfully repurposed into a cafeteria following preservation efforts.
The DDA revealed that a total of 55 heritage monuments within the park have been interconnected with pathways, enhancing accessibility. The project, with a budget of Rs 2.6 crore, has dramatically enhanced the park’s aesthetics and functionality, with work commencing in March earlier this year.
Lt Governor Saxena expressed confidence that the restoration and redevelopment efforts would significantly increase the number of visitors to the site. Aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vikas Bhi, Virasat Bhi’ (Development and Heritage Together), the restored heritage structures at Mehrauli Archaeological Park were unveiled to uphold Delhi’s rich cultural legacy and ancient splendour, according to the DDA’s statement.
Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Vice Chairman of DDA, Subhasish Panda, were present at the unveiling event. The DDA noted that Saxena personally oversaw the entire project, conducting multiple coordination meetings to address pending issues and ensure cooperation among various departments. The park, once plagued by neglect, now stands as a testament to successful collaboration and meticulous restoration efforts, with improved landscaping and additional green spaces surrounding the historic structures.(With inputs from PTI)