A popular hangout spot for Delhiites, the Purana Quila, gets a much-needed restoration, and is all set to welcome visitors again. By Kumar Shree
From personal memories, I remember the Purana Quila (Old Fort) as a lively, bustling hangout spots for people of all ages. I remember it as a spot to chill out with friends, go boating in the lake, click selfies, and have family picnics. My notion of this historic compound and its relevance to the contemporary generation went for a toss when I revisited the place sometime ago. The place appeared desolate, almost abandoned.
What I had missed was all the ongoing action for revamping the lake and the premises. Weeks later, I find Purana Quila in the news for being revamped as a new hangout spot, and indeed it has retained its charm that attracted me in the first place. The lake is now restored to its glory and looks pristine, so much so that the blue-sky mirrors itself in the water, beautifully. The entire campus has got an upgrade with cafeteria, e-tickets system, CCTV surveillance and a museum in place.
With Delhi’s rosy winter just around the corner, expect the place to be a hit amongst the leisure sports (e.g. badminton) and yoga enthusiasts. The lake cleanup has been done by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) as its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The NBCC has not only cleaned the 20,300 sq m lake but has also committed around 15 crores for its maintenance for two years. The initial cleaning cost of 30 crores was shared by the NBCC and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Apart from the lake and the campus, the west and northwest sides of the fort have also been revamped. We are convinced that the evening-time light shows at the Purana Quila will now attract even more visitors. While this may seem like a sad news to many, but boating at the Purana Quila is now a thing of the past. The authorities have decided to do away with boating and have also introduced a prohibition on food and plastic water bottles in the premises to ensure a healthy environment. The lake is now deeper than before for storing more rainwater and has also got a plastic lining on the base, which was approved by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
In conclusion, we can say that the revamping of Purana Quila has been done with keeping environment at its focal point and to develop it as a project in conservation than just a tourist spot, which is a win-win situation. Now whether this project stands successful or not, only time will tell.