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Update: 70 Hriday projects in progress

Key urban reforms implemented

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Key urban reforms implemented

 

Source: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.
Town Hall in Varanasi.

 

All 70 projects worth Rs.422.61 Crore approved for 12 National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (Hriday) are under various stages of implementation.

Stating this on 26 Dec 2018, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs said a Rs.310.43 crore has been released for the projects.

The Ministry is rejuvenating and transforming Indian cities through a number of initiatives including infusion of more than Rs.685,758 crore for ensuring citizen friendly urban areas.

The transformation has been undertaken by way of implementing key urban reforms, projects for urban rejuvenation among others besides approving implementation of city HRIDAY plans for 12 cities.

The HRIDAY, launched on 21 January 2015, is being implemented in Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwaraka, Gaya, Kancheepuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni and Warangal.

In 2018, 20 projects amounting to Rs.140.14 crores have been completed in the cities of Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwaraka, Puri and Varanasi.

The ministry gave an update on some of the notable projects completed:

In order to enhance the experience of religious tourists visiting prominent heritage sites in the HRIDAY Cities, 59 roads have been upgraded in Varanasi, Ajmer, Amritsar and Amaravati.

Three projects for rejuvenation of public parks and gardens in the cities of Amritsar (Gol Bagh), Ajmer (Subhash Udyan) and Puri (Banki Muhana) have been completed.

In order to revive the local heritage in cities and create additional tourist attractions, 3 projects for development of heritage walks in Pushkar, Ajmer and Varanasi connecting important monuments, along the lanes with historical architecture have been completed.

With the objective of restoring existing heritage buildings, 2 projects for Adaptive Reuse of Rambagh Gate in Amritsar and Town Hall in Varanasi have been completed. Rambagh Gate will house a museum and Town Hall is being used as a cultural center or programs.

Many traditional water bodies in heritage cities have no water and these have become solid waste and garbage dump sites.

Under HRIDAY, revival work of few heritage water bodies has taken place.

One such project for Annasagar Lakefront Development which has been completed.

Restoration of Rambagh School: Rambagh gate, Municipal Printing Press and the Municipal School:

The Rambagh gate is the only surviving gate of the walled city of Amritsar from the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the famed Maharaja of Punjab.

A segment of the fortification wall houses, above it, a colonial period building which houses a 100-year-old Municipal Printing Press and a school.

The Rambagh gate was restored to house a ‘Peoples’ Museum’ locally called the Lok Virsa thus providing a cultural space for the community which showcases the historical and cultural narrative of the city of Amritsar and its people using art installations, films and information boards and graphics.

The Town Hall located at Maidagin was built in 1870 by the Maharaja of Vizianagram to commemorate the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Varanasi.

The project not only aimed to restore the grand heritage building (presently underused) but also to tap its potential to create a multipurpose Urban public space (Cultural centre) both for the citizens and tourists.

In order to do so, the project components included façade restoration and lighting of Town Hall building, repaired doors and windows, plastering of wall surface and colour wash, cladding of stage with granite stone, installation of acoustics, air conditioning and chairs.

The project was completed in August 2018. Since then, it has been used for several cultural activities such as HRIDAY Art Camp, Yoga Program etc.

The completion of this project has revived the historically significant Town Hall building and provided the citizens of Varanasi with an additional location for socio-cultural activities.

Subash Udhyan was built on a land where Jahangir had erected palaces which had later disappeared. The park provides facilities to all groups of people that visit it and makes for a flexible recreational space.

The scope of the project included development, illumination of park and creation of facilities like jogging track, cycle track, boating pond, cafes etc.

The project was completed in September 2018 and has rejuvenated the moods of local people who now use the park as a social hub.

The Puri Beach in Odisha has continued to be a sacred venue for endless number of pilgrims coming to pay homage to Lord Jagannath. With the annual beach festival taking place in November, the beach has developed to be a popular spot for both Indian and foreign tourists

The scope of work included Construction of boundary walls, provision of Landscapes, Garden paths, creation of Amphitheatre, Garden lights, Fountain and automatic sprinklers, Plantation of saline resistant plants, furniture, drinking water stations, toilets etc.

The project was completed in September 2018. The project has helped in reducing the concentration of tourists in certain spots, improved the greenery along the beach and improved the overall environment of the area. fiinews.com

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