Minister of State (I/c) for culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, inaugurated the rejuvenated lake and the illumination of the Purana Qila in the presence of several dignitaries.
In the formal gathering, Dr. Sharma appreciated the efforts of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for conceiving the project. He valued the government’s continuous efforts to make the tourist attractions friendly while providing opportunities for everyone to know about the nation’s culture and history. According to him, the government’s main objective is to transform traditional buildings into people-friendly places easily accessible to common people and thereby preserving the culture and history of the nation.
Shri Arun Goel, the secretary (Culture) highlighted the facilities inaugurated and mentioned that the visitors would now benefit from the various amenities including the appealing publication counters for displaying research and well-liked ASI journals. He also said that under the purview of government’s efforts more monuments not only in Delhi but also in other places in the country, would be developed and made tourist friendly. More tourists would now be able to visit and appreciate the historical importance of these places.
Smt Usha Sharma who in her capacity as DG ASI mentioned in her welcome note about the collaborative development effort done at Purana Qila between ASI with NBCC. The total expense towards this was estimated at 30 crores, of which NBCC contributed 15 crores as part of its CSR scheme and rest was borne by ASI. As an effort to enforce NGT orders and undertake environment-friendly measures, food and plastic bottles are not allowed within Purana Qila premises. For a reasonable sum of Rs 20, the public can now enjoy new facilities, visit the trench and relish evening illumination. A museum of artefacts would also be opened to public soon.
With a history dating back 3000 years, Purana Qila and Delhi Zoological Park are quite popular among public. The fort with impressive fortification, in particular, has Qila-i-Kuhna mosque of Sher Shah Suri, Sher Mandal (a tower linked with demise of Humayun), a stepwell and three gates one each on south, north and west.
Since May 2018, the ASI, for the welfare of public, has established numerous developmental works in this fort. Some of the efforts include restoration of moat on the fort’s west and northwestern sides, illumination, landscaping, development of central antiquity museum, publication and souvenir stalls, e-ticketing with turnstile arrangement, parking and garden facilities among others.