Blowing life into the walls of one of Delhi’s most fascinating structures, NBCC (India) Ltd, the Navratna public sector enterprise and Archaeological Survey of India, announced the complete restoration of Purana Qila on the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Honourable Minister of Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, addressed the gathering to mark the completion of the project in the presence of dignitaries that included Minister of State (I/C) for Information and Broadcasting; Shri. Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Culture; Dr. Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC; and Smt. Usha Sharma, DG, ASI.
With an endeavour to refurbish the magnificent edifice, NBCC ‘adopted’ Purana Qila under Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Adopt a heritage’ scheme and executed the task utilising its CSR funds. In collaboration with ASI, NBCC worked out a comprehensive plan to restore the Old Fort, transforming the acropolis into a quintessential reception for tourists from across the globe.
The execution of the exemplary project was implemented in three phases that commenced with basic conserving and restoring activities, deepening of the lake, revamping and extending the museum, renovating the parking facilities and finally excavating and improving the visual appeal of the structure. As part of the transformation into a “tourist friendly” destination, NBCC has created amenities block, parking area, cafeteria, a souvenir shop, new ticketing and security block, ATM, parking facilities, power, including standby arrangement, CCTV surveillance, drinking water and toilet facilities, landscaping & lighting, directional signage’s, seating arrangement, monument lighting, RO water dispensers at various spots etc, to name a few.
Commenting on NBCC’s efforts to revive Purana Qila, Chairman-cum-Managing Director Dr. A K Mittal said, “For centuries, Purana Qila has stood testimony to Delhi’s rich archaeological heritage and its lake has been the boating destination for many generations of Delhites. I am extremely pleased that given our wide experience and engineering prowess, we have not just restored the glory of Purana Qila but embellished it without any tinkering with the original structure. With this initiative, NBCC has now revived the 16th century citadel, built by Mughal emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri. We are proud to dedicate the renovated Qila, which is a shining example of Incredible India, to tourists from all over the world.”
According to some historians, Purana Qila was built on the ancient site of Indraprastha.
NBCC (India) Limited’s proposal to upgrade and maintain Purana Qila was accepted by Ministry of Tourism as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), National Care Fund (NCF) and NBCC for ‘Conservation, Development and Maintenance of Purana Qila.’ The restoration work of the iconic Purana Qila Lake has been done as per the suggestions of IIT-Roorkee and rainwater harvesting structures are being built for ground water recharge.
NBCC’s restoration work of archaeological sites will not just showcase how such pieces of Indian history can be revived but also throw new light on the country’s cultural heritage. NBCC recently partnered with the Archaeological Survey of India to enhance Red Fort’s (Lal Qila) architectural splendour. As many as 2,500 lamps were used for architectural lighting, known as ‘element illumination’, to enhance its architectural beauty after the sunset of August 2018 Independence Day evening.