The 17 monuments, illuminated 24x7 for the benefit of the
Commonwealth Games visitors, will continue to shine at night even
though the mega-sporting has come to a close.
"The permanent illumination of the 17 monuments in the capital
introduces a new dimension on whether they should be thrown open
to people," Secretary of Culture Jawhar Sircar told IANS.
The idea takes into account various components of heritage
conservation, Sircar said.
"It raises security consideration which requires additional
manpower, better maintenance and enhanced amenities for visitors
at night. There are several issues which the ministry has to look
into before the illuminated monuments can be opened to public at
night," he said.
Additional manpower does not entail more recruitment, Sircar said.
"We will have to position our existing manpower in such a way that
it meets the conservation needs of monuments at night. Manpower
for conservation does not work that way - one need not induct more
people for the job. It requires planning and training," Sircar
The conservation of historic monuments in Delhi has not been a
one-off initiative for the Games, Sircar said.
"Conservation has been an ongoing process. We have been conserving
monuments of Delhi for several years now. We spend nearly Rs.6
crore every year for the upkeep of monuments. But we have spent
Rs.20 crore in the last two years keeping in mind the Games. Most
of the money has been spent on routine maintenance, restoration
and improvement of infrastructure of the 46 identified monuments.
The money was also used for illuminating 17 monuments," Sircar
The restoration and upgradation work of the monuments was
implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India and the India
Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Sircar said.
"The culture ministry also refurbished 16 spaces under its
jurisdiction like the National Museum, National Gallery of Modern
Art, ASI, National Archives of India, Lalit Kala Akademi and
several others," Sircar said.
"The ministry tried to keep a low profile throughout the Games
because the event belonged to the Delhi government," the culture
"Now that the Games are over, the Delhi government has to decide
what it wants to do with the exhibitions and cultural (tangible
art and culture) showcases that had been created under the Delhi
Celebrates 2010 exposition package," Sircar said.
Citing statistics, Sircar said of the 174 monuments in the city,
46 have been selected for "beautification, refurbishing and for
the installation of better civic amenities".
These monuments comprise three world heritage sites, seven
ticketed monuments and 36 smaller monuments.
He said the estimated cost of renovation was Rs.25.73 crore and no
special funding was provided by the Planning Commission.
The funds were released by the ministry of culture for these works
by "foregoing expenditure on certain other items under the Minor
"The government is planning major initiatives to promote Indian
art and improve the country's image as a major arts destination
and growth centre," he said.
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