Cultural Diplomacy: India’s National Monuments Authority seeks Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s expertise in protecting national heritage

 “We are in talks with AKTC. They would have the best expertise for monuments in Nizamuddin as they have been working here for years.”

– Himanshu Prabha Ray, National Monuments Authority Chairperson

India's National Monuments Authority seeking Aga Khan Trust for Culture's expertise in protecting national heritageNEW DELHI: Twenty-eight centrally-protected monuments in Humayun’s Tomb world heritage site and the crowded Nizamuddin area could serve as case studies for framing heritage bylaws nationwide.

Struggling with the task of making bylaws for all 3,600-plus ASI-protected monuments, National Monuments Authority (NMA) has turned to organizations which are already well-versed in heritage of specific areas. Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has been approached regarding all protected buildings in Nizamuddin area.

AKTC has been working in partnership with ASI, CPWD and South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative. During its seven-year engagement, AKTC has developed a significant understanding of the Humayun’s Tomb sub-circle that comprises 28 monuments and is also a DDA master plan-designated conservation area.

AKTC is also outlining potential incentives for residents.

“The objective is two-fold:

  • retaining the heritage character, and
  • improving the quality of life for residents rather than penalizing them.

It is hoped that an outcome of the exercise is to put in place mechanisms by which communities living within 100m are incentivized rather than penalized and begin to understand the cultural value of the place they reside in.

One of the biggest outcomes of this exercise will be an understanding of the area of the prohibited zone. In case of the Kot Mohalla in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, all of Nizamuddin West and most of Nizamuddin East is outside the currently-defined 100m zone. And, the extent of renovations to built housing within the zone will depend on impact to the monuments.”

– Shveta Mathur, Senior Programme Officer- Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Learn more via Humayun’s Tomb model for heritage rules – The Times of India.

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