Germany grants lakhs for heritage site restoration

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 20:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The German government has granted Rs.96 lakh to support the conservation and restoration of Chausath Khamba, a Mughal-era tomb located in Delhi`s Nizamuddin basti.

The contribution comes under an agreement the government has signed with the Aga Khan Trust, which is in charge of the renovation project.

"On behalf of the German government we are giving our little contribution to the wonderful work the Aga Khan Trust is doing here. Religion has extended its peaceful message from this place and we want to conserve this heritage for future generations to see," German ambassador Thomas Matussek said Wednesday.

Conservation of the monument will be undertaken as part of the Humayun`s Tomb-Sunder Nursery-Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti urban renewal initiative.

The initiative is a non-profit public-private partnership project of the Aga Khan development network in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Central Public Works Department.

The project is the first of its kind to combine conservation with environment and socio-economic development while working with local communities and stakeholders.

Beginning in September, a cultural event - Germany and India 2011-12: Infinite Opportunities - will also be organised in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore to promote the culture of Germany in India, the envoy said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will arrive May 30, along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will kick off the event with a major concert in Siri Fort, added Matussek.

Standing on 64 columns, the Chausath Khamba marble tomb will be featured prominently during the events.

The monument has suffered severe decay due to excessive water seepage and inappropriate repair works using modern materials.

Conservation works by the Aga Khan Trust will require partial dismantling of the tomb structure and will take 18 months to complete.

IANS