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Published in the 16-31 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Centre to secure world heritage status for Red Fort

New Delhi: The centre had informed the Delhi High Court nearly one and a half years ago that it was planning to develop the Red Fort as a world heritage site and the entire fort area had been declared protected under Protected Monuments Act. The court was hearing a petition on removing shops and illegal constructions within the fort.

Red Fort

  Red Fort

Solicitor General Kirit Raval said that the centre had brought the entire Red Fort and Salimgarh Fort under the control of Archaeological Survey of India. 

Earlier, only parts of the Fort including some monuments inside it, were protected. 

In an affidavit, the ASI stated that several monuments in the fort had been declared protected and the fort could not be treated as an army establishment 
"It is impossible to maintain these portions of the Fort unless and until they are completely vacated and handed over to the ASI for proper assessment of the damage already caused" the affidavit stated.

Superintending Archaeologist AK Sinha of ASI said that once the fort was totally handed over to the ASI and necessary repair work was completed the Tourism Ministry would try to secure world heritage status for the monument from UNESCO.

In an attempt to promote culture and tourism, all important monuments within Red Fort and Salimgarh Fort, Asad Burj, Water Gate, Jahangiri Gate, Lahori Gate and Chatta Bazar have been declared protected.

An ASI official said that "For all practical purposes, the entire Red Fort is a monument of national importance, necessitating special treatment to the old structures and the open area allocated inside it."

Husain K 

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