South Delhi civic body to let private players take care of some heritage sitesNEW DELHI: The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) plans to hand over the maintenance of some of its heritage sites and structures to private players in lieu of running commercial activities.

The civic agency had passed a policy in this regard last year. On Tuesday, it invited tender for leasing out the first property, at Mehrauli, for a period of 20 years with a monthly rental of Rs 3 lakh. The building, which was built around 1918, has a grand entry porch supported on a circular column. It was once used by the house tax department but has been lying vacant for decades after the office shifted to RK Puram, said officials.

SDMC had geotagged and collected history of 108 out of the 475 heritage sites or buildings under its areas in August last year. An official said not all sites have space or scope for running commercial activities.

“There are 50 structures where such initiatives can be taken. To begin with, we have decided to go with one property and see the feedback. Moreover, after selection, the person will need to get approval from the heritage conservation committee,” he said.

As per norms, the licensee will have to bear the entire expenditure of renovation/modification, maintenance and upkeep of these buildings and can use them for housing retail shops, stockists and dealers of medicines and drugs, commercial offices, clinical laboratories, banks etc.

Based on the feedback on the Mehrauli property, SDMC plans to invite tender for starting fine-dining at Hauz-i-Shamsi, also called Shamshi Talab, and also lease out the rest house in Dhansa.

“The project aims to preserve the structures and make the young generation more aware about their significance,” said Prem Shankar Jha, deputy commissioner, remunerative and project cell.

SDMC has been installing boards at heritage sites that give details like their brief history and geo locations. Mayor Mukesh Suryan said the properties are in urgent need of repairs and maintenance.

“These properties are symbols of our glorious past and we have adopted this process for the first time to conserve, restore and improve their condition,” he added.

Suryan said before going for renovation and modification of these heritage buildings, the licensee will have to get the necessary drawings and designs prepared, along with a structural stability certificate from a registered architect and submit them to the HCC through SDMC for approval.

Meanwhile, the civic body will also come out with a second volume of book specifying details of remaining 367 heritage sites in its area, including period of origin, historical importance, construction details and latitude/longitude on Google Maps, in a month.





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