The rejuvenated lake and illumination of Purana Qila was inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/c) for Culture, today in the presence of Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament. Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri. Arun Goel, Director General, ASI, Smt Usha Sharma, CMD, NBCC, Dr.Anup Kumar Mittal, were among the other dignitaries present.Addressing the gathering Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/c) for Culture said that its our responsibility to project our rich Cultural heritage on the world platform. Appreciating the efforts of Archaeological Survey of India in conceiving the project, he also highlighted the continuous efforts of the Government of India in making the major tourist attractions visitor friendly and also said that this would give youth an opportunity to know the country’s history and culture better. He also said that the goal of the Ministry is to make heritage monuments public friendly and within the reach of common man to instil pride in the History and culture of the Nation.Speaking at the event Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliamentthanked the Ministry of Culture for having done a great job at Purana Quila that falls in her constituency. She said that Delhi's history is incomplete without Purana Quila and is of great interest to everyone. She said that this was an ideal Example of Use of modern technique to protect heritage.
Highlighting the introduction of various facilities for the benefit of visitors like various amenities, an attractive publication counter, which will house the ASI publications, both research and popular ones, the Secretary (Culture) Shri. Arun Goel, informed the efforts of Government of India in bringing more monuments, both in Delhi and other parts of the country, for developmental works as well as making them tourist friendly, so that more and more tourists visit these historical places and develop a sense of our history.Earlier in the welcome address DG ASI, Smt. Usha Sharma said that the developmental works at Purana Qila in association with NBCC under CSR are estimated at a cost of Rs. 30 crores of which NBCC contributed about 15 Crores as part of their CSR Intiative and the rest by ASI. She also said that as part of decision to implement NGT orders and as eco-friendly measure there would be no entry of food items or plastic water bottles within the Purana Quila. She said that the public could avail the newly inaugurated facilities with an entry ticket of Rs 20 only to the moat and enjoy the evening illumination. She also said more facilities in terms of a museum of antiquities and excavation site would be inaugurated for Public viewingsoon.Speaking at the event Dr.Anup Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC said that all the development work as part of CSR initiate was completed in less than 4 months and it gave immense pleasure to say NBCC had contributed in the development activities of historical heritage of the country in Purana Quila.
He also said NBCC would be happy to maintain the facilities at Purana Quila for more years than agreed in the MoU i.e more than 2 years.Purana Qila has been one of the major tourist attractions in Delhi and combined with the Delhi Zoological Park, a large number of visitors throng to visit the historical vestiges, which date back to around 3000 years back. The major attractions inside the fort are the Qila-i-Kuhna mosque of Sher Shah Suri, Sher Mandal (a tower, which is traditionally associated with the death of Humayun), a stepwell and the remains of the extensive rampart, which has three gates, one each on the west, north and south.The Archaeological Survey of India has initiated several developmental works at Purana Qila since May 2018, which include refurbishment of the moat to the west and northwest of the fort, illumination, landscaping the area, development of a Central Antiquity Museum, upgradation and repairs of existing pathway, installation of publication counter, installation of publication counter, introducing e- ticketing system with turnstile arrangement, conservation of excavated remains, development of garden, parking facility and souvenir shop for the benefit of visitors.