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Amdavadis in for an action-packed year end

With barely a few days left in this year, Ahmedabad, which has been declared as India’s first heritage city, is all set to dole out Amdavadis a vibrant and lively year end. The city is gearing to host a plethora of events catering to varied interests. While there will be a traditional Sattvik food festival to tickle the taste-buds and offer a break from the fast-paced life, literature lovers will get their share of enjoyment too. If these do not interest you, experience the winter and take your children to have an night out at the zoo at Sundarvans or head to Kankaria carnival for fun-packed events. Here is a quick guide:TRADITIONAL SATTVIK FOOD FESTIVAL:Gear up to inner cleansing by experiencing traditional sattvik recipes at a food festival in the city. The 15th Sattvik food festival organized by the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) will begin from December 23 and organized at AES ground behind Doordarshan TV tower.The festival will not only have more than 150 stalls, one can expect more traditional fare made of raagi, kodri, millet and bajri as it is mandatory for each stall to have two dishes made from traditional grains. Apart from catering to the taste-buds, Sattvik will also have a creative and innovation corner for children as well as stalls selling organic food.The food festival will also host a community kitchen (food lab) where people will be taught how to cook healthy in right vessels, right process and with right feelings. Over 50 stalls from different states of the country and 75 stalls from Gujarat will be offering traditional food items during the three day festival.What to expect:*Forgotten traditional recipes*Community kitchen*Children’s creativity corner*Seminars related to food, health*Organic products, farmer exhibitionDate: Dec 23-25Place: AES ground, behind Doordarshan TV towerEntry fee: Rs 30AHMEDABAD INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE FESTIVAL (AILF):Literature lovers in the city can head to the second edition of Ahmedabad International Literature Festival (AILF) which will begin on Saturday. The two-day festival, to be held at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA), celebrates the World Heritage status of Ahmedabad by keeping its theme ‘Heritage’.The festival will have around 80 speakers for different sessions and seminars. It will kick-start with a Bhavai performance. Festival director Umakant Yadav said, “With the advent of the digital age, the world of literature has also been democratized. The consumption of literature has been transformed by an array of digital platforms and social media. In such a backdrop, literature ceases to be limited to a region or nationality.”Some interesting sessions listed below:*When daughters are the Voices of Fathers: Women behind road safety (2.00 pm)*Her story: A global perspective of women*The Karnavati Chronicles: Revealing the city through architectural narrativesDate: Dec 23-24Place: AMAGUJARAT NATIONAL SCIENCE CONGRESS:Ahmedabad is all set to host the final round of the National Children Science Congress (NCSC) from December 27 onwards. The primary objective of the Children’s Science Congress is to make a forum available to children of the age-group of 10-17 years, both from formal school system as well as from out of school, to exhibit their creativity and innovative side and more particularly their ability to solve a societal problem experienced locally using the method of science. It prompts children to think of some significant societal problems, ponder over its causes and subsequently try and solve the same using the scientific process. Children participating in the competition observe, raise pertinent questions, build models and predict solutions on the basis of a model based on field work. A total of 15 projects will chosen as the best and felicitated.Date: Dec 27-31Place: Gujarat Council of Science City, near SG highwayWINTER NIGHT AT THE ZOOThere are fewer occasions when Amdavadis get respite from scorching heat. And this is the time make the most of the dip in temperatures. How about taking your children to a zoo visit in the chilly winter nights? Sundarvan, a nature discovery centre has organized a winter night at the zoo and calling young naturalists to explore Sundarvan in an experiential manner.The visit is open for kids of 8 to 12 years of age and will include a night nature-trail, spider watch, learning activities, craft, huddle around the fire for storytelling, animal yoga and morning trail.Date: Dec 23-24Time: 5.30-9.00 pmPlace: Sundarvan, Near ISRO, Jodhpur Tekra, AhmedabadTRANSLATED BOOKS FAIR AT GUJARAT VIDYAPITH:Get ready to buy books on different genres at 10-percent discount. Gandhian institute Gujarat Vidyapith is hosting a translated pustak mela (book fair). In their attempt to bridge the language barrier in the written word that obstructs dissemination of information, the book fair will have books which are translated in Gujarati. Speaking about the same, Rajendra Khemani, Registrar, Gujarat Vidyapith said, “There will be nearly 1200 titles translated from either local language to Gujarati or from Gujarati to local languages. The most interesting thing is that we had thought that such fairs would. The books have been categorized in 12 sections namely novels, poems, motivation, life history, etc.”Place: Gujarat Vidyapith campus, Ashram roadTime: 10.00 am to 8.00 pmDates: Dec 20-24

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Rohit Jigyasu first Indian to be elected to ICOMOS board

The newly elected board of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which includes an Indian on the board of members for the first time, held its first meeting in Delhi recently. ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17.Headquartered in Paris, France, ICOMOS organised its 19th Triennial General Assembly in Delhi and the theme of the assembly was ‘Heritage and Democracy’. This event of heritage professionals from around the world was held for the first time in India and third time in Asia. It was attended by nearly 900 professionals from more than 80 countries.During the assembly, elections of the new ICOMOS board were also held. Dr Rohit Jigyasu, conservation and risk management professional and president of ICOMOS India was elected as the Vice-President of ICOMOS. He is the first Indian to get elected to the bureau of ICOMOS. Toshiyoko Kono from Japan has been elected as the President.This year’s General Assembly elected 20 members of the board by a secret ballot for a term of three years. The members then elected a president, a secretary geICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17neral, a treasurer, and five vice- presidents.India supported the ICOMOS India initiative and hosted the General Assembly through the engagement of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Survey of India, and Wild Life Institute of India. Regional states, such as the government of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha and Bihar too supported the initiative.”It is a great honour to be selected as the vice-president. It is very important to bring Indian perspective to world heritage. I will do my best to do the same,” said Jigyasu.Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, gave a concluding speech at the session and emphasised on the importance of protecting and managing living heritage through engagement of communities.WHAT IS ICOMOS?ICOMOS is an association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world and offers advice to UNESCO on world heritage sites.

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Colaba footpath cleared for VVIP movement

Residents of Colaba have expressed happiness after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cleared footpaths on Wednesday owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for an official event in South Mumbai. Residents applauded civic body’s move and requested that footpaths are maintained and ensure that they are encroachment-free in the future.Parvez Cooper, Vice President, Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association, said that the authority must implement a policy to ensure that footpaths are free from encroachments. “We cannot walk on the footpath on any given day. Senior citizens and school children are the affected the most,” said Cooper, adding that, “The footpath is cleaned only when there is VVIP movement,” he added.An official from the A-ward said that from time-to-time they remove hawkers. “The BMC has been working on the hawkers policy and soon, it will declare hawking pitches where hawkers will be allowed to do their business,” said an official from the ward. He added

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Adityanath praises PM Modi after UNESCO recognises Kumbh Mela as ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the UNESCO recognising Kumbh Mela as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.This was an achievement of the Narendra Modi-led government, the chief minister was quoted in an official statement.”The country is touching new heights under the prime minister and earning new identity at the global level… the world is now looking towards India,” the chief minister said.The Kumbh Mela was recognised by the UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” in a Twitter post by the international organisation.The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the UN body inscribed Kumbh Mela on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” during its 12th session being held in Jeju, South Korea. Also readTaj Mahal already an established spot, focussing on projects like Kumbh Mela: UP tourism ministerKumbh Mela, considered the world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims, is held in Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik and Haridwar.

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Speak up Mumbai | Aesthetics over safety: Smart choice by BMC?

To secure the iconic Marine Drive promenade from a possible Barcelona-style terror attack, in which a van ploughed into pedestrians on a busy boulevard, the Mumbai Police had proposed installing barriers between the road and promenade to ensure that cars and heavy vehicles do not veer onto the promenade.However the plan has been shelved after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) rejected the proposal to install bollards or raise the promenade’s height stating that this would damage the tourist spot’s aesthetics and obstruct its openness.Following the rejection, top police officers made a presentation to state chief secretary Sumit Mullick to point out the security gaps. The police spent three weeks conducting safety drills by simulating attacks, and a video demonstrated the consequences of a Barcelona-style van attack.DNA spoke to a cross section of Mumbaikars to find out whether security concerns should take precedence over issues of aesthetics and heritage.EXPERT SPEAKSecurity is more important in today’s era considering the Barcelona-style terror attacks that terrorists are committing across the world. Installing barriers at the Marine Drive promenade is the need of the hour as it is one of the most sensitive and crowded areas in the city. The Mumbai Police has taken the right step at the right time. Their measures would help prevent and secure the stretch from such attacks. Barriers would not be any damage.—Prem Kishan Jain, security expertMumbai is surrounded by the sea. You cannot fence Mumbai from all three sides. How can it be assured that after creating barriers there will be no attack? I think such a move would damage the heritage of Marine Drive. The police should find other measures for security such as increasing surveillance at the promenade. Installing bollards will create visual barriers at Marine Drive.—Abha Narain Lambah, conservation architectVOICESSecurity reasons should always take precedence. Other heritage sites of the world should be taken as examples to learn how beauty can be preserved while keeping security aspects in mind.—Sangeeta Srivastava, AndheriBarriers should be installed in such a way that they do not damage the heritage. Both aspects are equally important and cannot be ignored. We can come up with midway solution for the issue.—Gulshan Giri, AndheriIt is important to protect the city’s heritage structures but not at the cost of safety of its residents. BMC should ensure that tourists and local residents feel safe while visiting tourists spots such as Marine Drive. The police should go ahead and install structures in the restricted areas for the safety of locals and tourists. Safety and security of locals and tourists should not be compromised in the name of aesthetics and heritage structures.—Bhuvee Daswani, BandraImproving the police force’s intelligence is the basic need. If bollards are installed on the Marine Drive promenade then where will the pedestrians go?. You cannot block public space because it could be a security hazard. Placing physical obstructions won’t work every time as terrorists could find a loophole some way or the other. The government needs focus on improving the police force’s training.—Kamlakar Shenoy, MazgaonSecurity has to be given priority in this day and age. Human life is precious — it cannot be and should not be compromised at any cost. Of course aesthetics and heritage should be preserved too but they can only be appreciated if we exist. Recent attacks across the world indicate that attacks hereafter would be of higher impact than before and this is something we ought to prioritise as a security concern.—Pradeep Havnur, BandraInstalling barricades will not address security concerns. Authorities need to ensure security but also need to keep aesthetics in mind. Barricades that are used on footpaths are ugly. What they probably need is a four or six-inch elevation at the promenade’s periphery which will not block free movement of pedestrians and will also serve as a hindrance to vehicles. This might also regulate people crossing only from where they are supposed to.—Kaizad Todywalla, Marine DriveSecurity should be given priority. There is nothing wrong in protecting heritage but it should not be at the cost of human life. When there is a possibility of major issues, even then either the police or civic administration is being stopped from taking remedial measures. In the past we have seen rules being twisted to benefit certain corporate sections but when it comes to the safety of common people, rules are being given priority.—Prakash Kosy, WorliSecurity should always be given priority over issues such as aesthetics and heritage. Installing barricades between the promenade and road will not disturb the aesthetics of Marine Drive. It will just be an addition to the existing structure. Both the Mumbai Police and MHCC should arrive at a middle ground solution so that both concerns of security and heritage can be accommodated.—Abhishek Thakker, Mulund
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Yogi Adityanath


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Meghalaya village stays Asia’s cleanest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For artists making nature a theme for their art, this tiny village of 500 souls nestled amongst lush green forests in a remote corner in south of Meghalaya, along the Indo-Bangladesh border, is a perfect destination.Situated in the East Khasi Hill district, the village is famous for its cleanliness and of late has become an attraction point for central and various state government officials to learn tricks to make Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Mission) successful.Functional toilets in every household, no stray animals on the streets, paved pathways, solar-lit streets and bamboo dustbins at every corner, the village, nick-named as God’s Own Garden, is consistently working to retain its prestigious tag of the cleanest village of Asia; conferred on it in 2003. No traces of fallen and dry leaves can be seen as they go straight into a dustbin. Not only are plastic bags banned, but smoking is also prohibited in this village. The rules are strictly followed and the defaulters are heavily charged.The story began some 29 years ago when a primary school teacher, Rishot Khongthohrem, concerned at the successive epidemics that had consumed lives of many children in 1988, proposed to launch a cleanliness drive. “There were sceptics in the village executive committee who dismissed the idea as impractical. But Rishot insisted and proposed a comprehensive plan,” said member of the village committee, Lamphrang, also a retired teacher.The village headman, Banjop Thiaw, teaches government officials and scores of voluntary organisations, which can be touted as pf the secrets behind the successful accomplishment of a swachh mission in the village.Sitting cozy outside his tidy home, villager Enes Khonglamet recalls how after the village committee had launched the cleanliness drive in 1988, within two years the streets and houses had become spic-and-span. The first order came to put animals in enclosures, whether domesticated or stray. Then every household was told to construct toilets alongwith septic tanks and then were asked to attend to kitchen waste. All 97 houses in the village have septic and compost pits dug in the adjoining garden.”It is mandatory for every household to segregate organic waste from plastics etc. The organic waste is placed in the compost pit that converts it into manure, which is later used in the fields. The inorganic waste is collected in a large bamboo waste box, which is transported to Shillong once a month, and is handed over to a recycling plant,” says Lamphrang.One of the farmers Khonglamet recalls that there was lot of opposition, as poor villagers had to use their meagre resources to build all these things. But looking back, he recalls with sparkles in his eyes that cleanliness has brought fortunes and pots of money to the village.”It is become a big tourist attraction now. During the peak season, 2,000-odd tourists visit the village on a daily basis,” he said. Khonglamet hopes that his son who is studying commerce in Shillong will return to set up a tourist related business here.”We charge every vehicle Rs 50 for entering the village. Therefore, we are self-sufficient to repair and attend to maintenance of pathways. There are 22 guest houses in the village that have 100 per cent occupancy between May and September. Also there are seven eateries which serve village organic food. The village is connected to nearby Rawa village through a unique Living Root Bridges which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hanging on a river, the bridges are made by connecting the aerial roots of seven massive rubber trees with each other.Asked if the experiment of Mawlynnong has been replicated elsewhere, Lamprang tells DNA, “Meghalaya government had tried to convince other villages and had even offered incentives. Other village heads had attempted the cleanliness drive to lure tourists and raise income of their village, but you know sanitation is not about money, but changing the habit of people. We succeeded changing the social habits of people. No amount of force, but only cajoling and their own understanding can bring changes in habits. As you know, old habits die hard.”

Don’t have enough towing vans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Colaba residents have been complaining about the traffic police’s inaction on the issue of illegal and double parking in their area which leads to lane congestion, the traffic police on the other hand have expressed their helplessness to cater to these issues, stating that they are short on towing vans which is why they have been unable to take action against the parking violators.According to residents, since Colaba has several tourist destinations and heritage hotels which attract a large number of tourists, the illegal parking has proven to be a menace for a long time. “Private vehicles meant to ferry tourists staying in hotels or those who only visit the area for sightseeing are parked by the drivers in the peripheries of the residential colonies instead of hotel car parking or government authorised parking lots. This results in parking space crunch in the area,” said a resident.”Vehicles are often double parked or illegally parked in the bylanes where we reside. Whenever we inform the police to take action and clear the vehicles, the traffic police states that they do not have enough towing vans to clear the double or illegally parked vehicles. It is ironic that towing vans are readily made available whenever there is a VIP movement in the area and roads needs to be cleared,” said Subhash Motwani, President, Clean Heritage Colaba Residents’ Association (CHCRA).As per sources from the traffic police, the Colaba traffic division has only two towing vans — one each for four-wheelers and two-wheelers. “As the day progresses, influx of vehicles increase in Colaba area. We need at least two more towing vans to take action against violators,” said a senior traffic police officer.The residents have been complaining continuously about the congestion on roads, double parking, illegal parking, motorists violating traffic rules and vagrants on the footpath.MORE WOESDue to concretisation work on Boman Cawasji Boman Behram Marg, signboards have been uprooted causing confusion to motorists and creating issues on the roads.
The Regal Cinema lane going towards the Gateway of India is closed for vehicular traffic every Sunday. This brings the entire traffic into the by lanes where the residents have to suffer.

Model Code casts shadow on World Heritage Week celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is all geared up to celebrate the World Heritage Week from November 19, the first after it was declared as the first World Heritage City of India by the UNESCO on July 8.However, AMC which had to shelve its plan to observe fortnight-long celebration beginning August 1 to showcase its achievement, in the wake of heavy rains and subsequent widespread floods across the state does not want to take any chances this time.The civic body is taking steps on how to ensure that the week-long World Heritage Week celebration is a memorable one in the wake of the Model Code of Conduct that is in force in Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections in December.”With MICA, we are organising seven-day long celebration. There will an exhibition of some of the city’s iconic monuments at the campus with our experts. We are exploring several other things keeping in mind the Model Code of Conduct,” said Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar.”Talks are underway with many other educational institutes to engage them in celebration. There are plans to erect several hoardings and banners for the celebration sharing information about monuments but, it too would be finalised after studying the Model Code of Conduct,” said a senior official at the AMC.Manvita Baradi, one of the members of the Heritage Conservation Society of the civic body and also the founder director of the Urban Management Centre (UMC), said, “During our research, we found 32 stepwells in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. We have prepared a book on the same which will be jointly launched by AMC and UMC during the World Heritage Week celebration. We have documented details of all the stepwells in our book. Most people are not aware about their existence.”Ahmedabad often wears a bridal look when any festival or an international VIP guest pays visit. For the World Heritage Week, starting November 19, once again Amdavadis would be able to enjoy and bask in the glory of their rich past as the monuments would be lit up with vibrant colours.GEARING UPAhmedabad often wears a bridal look when any festival or an international VIP guest pays visit. For the World Heritage Week, starting November 19, once again Amdavadis would be able to enjoy and bask in the glory of their rich past as the monuments would be lit up with vibrant colours. The civic body is taking steps on how to ensure that the week-long World Heritage Week celebration is a memorable one.

A look at Delhi in the year gone by

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>GovernanceAs the Delhi government entered its second year in 2016, the tug-of-war between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (APP) government and the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre continued, became even more acrimonious, with previous Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung at the centre of the bitter ballet. Jung and Kejriwal-led government entered into a legal battle over ruling the national Capital and the first round was won by Jung. The Delhi High Court in its decision said L-G wasn’t bound by the ministers’ advice while that the issue should be left to the Centre in the event of a dispute between the two.Towards the end of 2016, Jung submitted his resignation. The pending files of the government then moved to the new L-G Anil Baijal who initially gave approval on the issues which were rejected by his predecessor. As the approvals came in, new projects were launched in the capital. The AAP government did some pioneering work majorly in two sectors — health and education. New classrooms were constructed; patients got free test schemes in the hospitals and much more.EducationOn October 15 last year, a major controversy broke out at the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). A first-year MPhil student Najeeb Ahmed had gone missing following a spat with some members of the RSS-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP).The incident snowballed into a national controversy with political leaders cutting across parties participating in the “Where is Najeeb?” movement.The matter reached the Court and CBI is investigating it.Even as the JNU students were still at loggerheads with the administration over Ahmed’s disappearance, another issue jolted the campus. JNU announced 83 per cent seat cut in MPhil and PhD courses following a UGC notification that put a cap on number of students a faculty member can supervise. In February, violent clashes broke out at DU’s Ramjas College between two student groups following the cancellation of invitation to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to a seminar, after ABVP objected to their invite. In this year’s DUSU elections, Congress-backed NSUI managed to win important posts.MCDThe three municipal corporations of Delhi — North, South and East — had new administrations with elections being held this year with the BJP, despite anti-incumbency, riding on a Narendra Modi wave registered a thumping victory in all the three civic bodies. The Congress and the AAP had a poor show in the elections. However, except for the South, the cash-strapped North and East civic bodies are still stuck in a blame-game with the Kejriwal government over release of funds.Within a year with new administration having several first-time councillors, the corporations’ focus shifted to waste management, better facilities in its schools, crackdown on illegal constructions and creating alternatives for parking.Also, with the new LG Anil Baijal taking over the city’s administration, the civic bodies had to swing into action for showing results such as in curbing the menace of vector-borne diseases after last year’s massive spread of chikungunya. After a portion of Ghazipur landfill in East Delhi gave way, killing two persons and injuring a dozen others, the corporations woke up, to finally start thinking of ways to manage waste.Delhi MetroThe Delhi Metro, the city’s major public transport system, expanded further with the opening of the Heritage Line connecting the Walled City to the Capital’s outskirts. Also, the Metro started trial runs of the Pink Line connecting South and East Delhi.The Pink Line will have 38 metro stations, which is under construction as part of the phase-3 of Metro network. One of the 6.5 km corridors between Majlis Park and Shakurpur on the Pink Line is expected to open by end of December.The Heritage Line, being the most challenging to build, had been in the works for a long time. It connects the Mughal-era monuments to the rest of the city. The project has also helped decongest the majorly clogged main road of Old Delhi.In a major change from the past, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) proposed to increase the fares for the second time in a year. While it raised the fares this March with the maximum up to Rs 50, it has again hiked fares with effect from October 10. The second proposed hike had the DMRC ran into a confrontation with the Delhi government opposing the hike calling it ‘anti-people’.CrimeIn the beginning of 2017, as Amulya Patnaik took over as the Commissioner of Delhi Police, his focus areas were curbing street crime and bringing down heinous crimes in the Capital. To count on the major incidents that left the the city shaken, in the past nine months, a woman is stabbed brutally in public, multiple times by her jilted lover, for turning down marriage proposal; a man is lynched for objecting to public urination; the mobile phone of a Ukrainain ambassador gets snatched; and four women of a family are killed in one night.Even as police repeatedly claims that the crime rate has declined, data shows that Delhi sees a theft every three minutes, six rapes a day and a murder daily, on average. The workout percentage for street crime also remains low.The Delhi police might have adopted the ‘digital India’ in true sense; however its practical implementation still remains a dream. The ‘Himmat’ application which was a “one touch solution for the safety of women” was revamped and re-launched, however not many people compared to the woman population of Delhi are even making full use of it.

New Palace on Wheels arrives to a grand traditional welcome in Jaipur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Luxury train Palace on Wheels that departed for its first journey in its new, revamped avatar from New Delhi on Wednesday arrived at the Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur on Thursday to a grand welcome. A total of 27 tourists from nine countries are on board the train, which is making its first trip after the revamp. Tourists were welcomed with traditional Rajasthani songs and dance.Palace on Wheels (PoW), formally known as the Royal Rajasthan on wheels (RRoW), has retained RRoW’s blue colour. The coaches, however, have undergone a complete renovation to resemble a palace on wheels. Meanwhile, efforts are on by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) to run the old rake of RROW as Palace on Wheels again in the later part of the year, as Heritage POW. Sources informed that RTDC has sought clearance from Railways for two routes. One of the routes on which management plans to run this old rake is the Shekhawati circuit that will start from Delhi. The ‘desert triangle’ will include places like Churu, Ramgarh, Nawalgarh, Tal Chhapar (Churu). The timings and fare of these journeys are being worked out, and approvals are expected in the coming weeks. Officials said that the heritage POW is expected to start on these routes from November this year.

World Heritage status: Marine Drive locals speak up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The push to declare the Marine Drive precinct a UNSECO World Heritage Site, and a visit by a UNESCO World heritage team to inspect the area, has caused concern among many residents of the area. They fear that such a move will deprive them of any chance of redeveloping their buildings, many of which are in a shabby condition.DNA spoke to residents of the area for their views on whether the push for a World Heritage Site tag for Marine Drive is an effort by a few for safeguarding their own properties and stonewalling the development of Marine Drive.FATE OF MARINE DRIVEThe fate of more than 1,040 flats and 37 buildings is being decided without even consulting them. While Marine Drive has already been declared a heritage precinct, the move to declare it a UNESCO World Heritage site is now gathering steam.
A team from UNESCO is visiting the city this week to compile a report on the state government’s nomination of the Marine Drive precinct as a World Heritage Site. South Mumbai has some amazing architecture, which was primarily built during the pre-Independence era. We should oppose redevelopment as a unified voice. I support the heritage tag as Marine Drive is one of the most iconic stretches of our city.—Subhas Motwani, Colaba residentThe story of redevelopment of Marine Drive as heritage precinct is a perfect example of crony capitalism irrespective of governments. These capitalists will even argue that heritage structures like CST, Gateway of India need to be destroyed. I support the heritage tag.—Rahul Hakani, Marine Drive residentI want my building to be redeveloped. Currently, the ceiling height in our flats are higher than usual. If our buildings are redeveloped we will miss these aspects but for the sake of a better home and amenities we want redevelopment.—Nishit Shah, Anand NiwasThe buildings in Marine Drive are old and not earthquake-resistant. We do not want the heritage tag. We support redevelopment because that will allow us to get rid of the old weak structure and we will have a strong building.—Mahindra Hemdev, Agarwal HouseJust because a building is old that doesn’t mean the building should be declared as heritage. The Marine Drive neighbourhood is not a heritage precinct. I do not support the heritage tag for this area.—Pankaj Bhargav, Sahkar Bhawan residentEven the promenade is a modern construction. There is no uniformity in the residential buildings, and the commercial establishments. One of the hotels even has a revolving floor. How can all of these be termed as heritage?—Deepak Sanghavi, Aryan Mahal residentIf it’s about beautification then it is okay, but if residents are going to be inconvenienced and all of this isn’t in favour of the residents, then we are not in support of the heritage tag.—Akash Purohit, Corporator, who has a house at Marine DriveGranting the status of heritage site will be work in favour of Mumbai as a destination for global travelers. Once it is declared as heritage site, redevelopment will require many permissions.—Shashank Kulkarni, Malabar Hill resident

Ahmedabad gets ‘World Heritage City’ title before elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what may provide further momentum to BJP president Amit Shah’s efforts to drum up Gujarat success story before elections, Ahmedabad on Friday received the certificate for India’s first World Heritage City from the UNESCO.Incidentally, Ahmdebad got the prestigious award for having an intercultural amalgamation of Islamic, Hindu and Jain architectures that UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova described as a hallmark of “preserving intercultural dialogue of tolerance.” Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani was quick to accuse earlier governments for not making enough efforts in this matter. He credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘s tireless perseverance to get Ahmedabad the coveted award. “Today is a joyous day for 6.25 crore Gujaratis but it became possible entirely because of Narendra Bhai’s efforts who pitched for Ahmedabad as UNESCO’s World Heritage City in 2013 and then continued his efforts by digging out important documents, photographs and other testimonies to claim this glorious award,” said Rupani speaking at a function where his whole cabinet and corporators of Ahmedabad Muncipal Corporation were present. Rupani said this would help Ahmedabad shine as a star on the tourist map of not only India but of the world. Most of the heritage work for which Ahmedabad got the award was accomplished during the reign of Sultan Ahmed Shah in the old city of Ahmedabad in the 15th century from whom the city also derived its present name. Describing Ahmedabad as a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle, Ms. Bokova said, “It is important for the symbolism of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence. It holds numerous mosques and Hindu and Jain temples through which it bears witness to multi-religious an multi-cultural dialogue as the rich heritage from the Sultanate period.” “The harmony it embraces through its diversity tells the story of religious and cultural exchange underpinned by tolerance,” she emphasised.The key elements that made Ahmedabad a World Heritage City include the 15th century Bhadra Citadel, the Jhulta Minar or swaying minaret and the the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, one of the finest specimens of Indo-Saracenic style.Spread over in 5.43 sq km area, the walled city is a living heritage having close of 600 Pols (narrow pathways) with clusters of centuries old architecturally beautiful houses and dozens of Vaav (step wells). In all Ahmedabad has 28 historical monuments protected by the Archeological Survey of India. Among the other major attractions are Teen Darwaza, one of the oldest gateways of the city, Jama Masjid and Qutub Shah’s mosque. The city is also home to a number of colonial architectures, including the structure of Ellisbridge and Mangaldas Girdhardas Town Hall.

215 animals die at Kaziranga National Park in floods

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With 70 per cent of its area still submerged, 215 animals including 13 rhinos and a Royal Bengal Tiger have so far lost their lives at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, a senior forest official said today. Due to the flooding, the animals in the UNESCO World Heritage Site are facing food shortage within the Park, compelling them to go out to the nearby hills, tea gardens and even human habitations in search of food, KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohoni Ballav Saikia said here. As the floodwater from the National Park recedes, Saikia said, the carcasses of animals were being recovered from its four ranges. He said the two waves of floods this year have caused death of endangered species. “Till date, we found bodies of 13 rhinos, 188 hog deer, four elephants, two swamp deer, four wild boars, two buffaloes, one Royal Bengal Tiger and one Porcupine. All died due to drowning”. The Kaziranga National Park is spread over 430 sq km.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 140 animals found dead in flood-hit Kaziranga Park

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second wave of floods in Assam has inundated 80 per cent of the 481 sq km area of the famed Kaziranga National Park and claimed the lives of over 140 animals, including seven rhinos. Since August 10, seven rhinos, 122 swamp deer, two elephants, three wild boars, two hog deer, three sambhar deer, one buffalo and one porcupine died, KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohini Ballav Saikia said here yesterday. “Carcasses are being recovered daily,” the official said. Out of the seven dead rhinos, six drowned while the other died of natural causes. Water of the Brahmaputra river entered the KNP, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, through river Difloo on August 10, the DFO said. Intensified water patrolling was on by KNP guards, task force, protection force along with those from NGOs, Wildlife Trust of India and forest department employees for rescuing, recovering and making assessment of species trapped or dead in the KNP, Sakia said. At present, animals in KNP are moving in search of food available on both sides of the NH-37 and the adjacent tea gardens towards the higher altitudes of Karbi Anglong district, the official said. Forest department and security personnel are fixing hoardings, posters, banners to restrict speed limit of vehicles on the NH-37 passing through the park between 20 to 40 km per hour, the DFO said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba orders quick completion of conservation works in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today directed preservation and conservation of heritage spots and ancient monuments in Jammu city and adjoining areas. Mufti passed the directive during her meeting with the members of a deputation of Jammu Heritage Society, an official spokesman said. “The chief minister directed the Tourism department to pace up conservation works at the Mubarak Mandi heritage complex,” he said. “She also directed proper landscaping of the green areas in the complex and taking steps for preparing a souvenir on the said monument,” the spokesman said. During the meeting, Mufti said the conservation works should be completed at the earliest so that a portion of the heritage complex could be thrown open for visitors and tourists. The chief minister also directed pacing up of work on the Jammu cable car project and installation of musical fountain at the Bagh-e-Bahu.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajon ki Baoli: Well of history loses sheen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Take a walk in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park and one would come across a magnificent structure with intricate artwork that looks like a city in itself, walk a little ahead and one can find young men smoking hashish and hookah. Ask them where they are and they know nothing about the structure; the guard at the gate does not seem to know either. The largest and most artistic among the three baolis in Mehrauli is the Rajon ki Baoli — a stepwell once used by Rajon (masons).Constructed by Daulat Khan during Sikander Lodi’s reign between 1498-1517 AD, the baoli is a rectangular structure and has four different stages with rooms on either side at each level.These rooms were built for masons/travellers to rest. Four levels down, the baoli holds some dirty water with plastic, and algae growth in it.This has now become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Each level has a courtyard and rooms with ornate work around it that lies unnoticed.Opposite the baoli is a Lodi Dynasty mausoleum and both the structures say ‘Protected Monument’. The monument is of national importance under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1951.But the only guard at the gate does not know the significance of any of the structures and is a little unsure of allowing a woman to go inside alone due to anti-social elements and the fact that it is unsafe.On the right side of the baoli lies a staircase that leads to a small mosque on the terrace. On the outside is a twelve-pillar canopy tomb also known as Barakhamba.Some young men from the neighbourhood here break beer bottles and smoke hashish with indifference.”This is some kuan,” one of them says while the other responds, “This is Gandhak ki baoli, everyone says this is that sulphur water of Mehrauli.” (Gandhak ki baoli is several metres away from here and the men are not even sure what a baoli is).Earlier, the water in the stepwell used to rise to the third level, but over a period of 500 years, the well got silted up.Descending levelsIn 2004-05, the Archaeological Survey of India and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) carried operations for desilting of the well.Desilting of the stepwell was carried out up to 6.1 metres, following which the water level rose to 20 feet.But after the desilting, there was never a provision to use the water in the baoli leading to stagnancy, becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Metro goes off tracks for Old Delhi heritage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For most people, Delhi’s walled city means endless options for wedding trousseau, delicious paranthas and kulfi, and jewellery. But the narrow alleys of this historically rich place has many other interesting tales.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which recently started a Heritage Line in the area, has now created a platform for Delhiites to take them back to the old era, complete with trivia, through its new initiative called the Heritage Walk. On Friday, one such batch of curious explorers, led by the organisation Delhi Walks and Metro officials, passed through the dusty lanes of Purani Dilli. With the majestic Red Fort in the backdrop, the team reached Chandni Chowk. Then before going deeper into the lanes of Dariba Kalan and Kinari Wali Gali, as well as history, the walkers passed through Bhai Mati Das Chowk, named after a Sikh martyr. The guide then told them about what made the street so special. “It starts at Red Fort and ends at Fatehpuri masjid, covering the Jain temple, Gauri Shankar temple, Central Baptist church, and Sisganj gurudwara in between,” he said.It was, however, the Naughara (Nine homes), a group of havelis, that left the group awestruck. It seemed the time stood still at the doorways of these ancient bungalows. Another memorabilia then broke the reverie. “The Jain community was given the land. It also has a Shwetambar temple adjacent to it,” the guide informed.The walkAt a nominal cost of Rs 500, the Heritage Walk will cover the length and breadth of Old Delhi through the month. Sisganj Gurdwara and Digambar Jain Lal Mandir are among the popular spots that walkers will get to explore on weekends.

Rs10 crore budget for heritage festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The standing committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Thursday sanctioned Rs10 crore for the Heritage Festival which will be celebrated for a fortnight starting August 1. The festival will celebrate the World Heritage City (WHC) tag that the city received from Unesco on July 8. “We have sanctioned Rs10 crore for the celebration. The state government has also assured financial assistance for the event. We are expecting 50% of the total expenditure to be funded by the state,” said Pravin Patel, standing committee chairman. It should be noted that in 2015, AMC spent Rs32 crore for events like Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and Vibrant festival. The state government had promised to reimburse the amount later, but that has not happened till date. During the zero hour discussion, in response to a query on the poor condition of roads, municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said that strict action would be taken against those involved in construction of such roads. Meanwhile, Patel mentioned that on an average, the civic body spends Rs250 crore in a year on making or resurfacing roads.

AMC to gift heritage museum to citizens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to open a heritage museum in the city in a step towards celebrating and building a brand over its recently acquired ‘World Heritage City’ tag. After a meeting of civic body officials with heritage experts on Tuesday, AMC chief Mukesh Kumar said a heritage museum dedicated to exhibit and display of Ahmedabad’s heritage will come up to attract more visitors and tourists. “We are considering the old civic body building for the museum but space is a constraint. We will request the Calico Museum to allow more entries, as they allow only 20 visitors a day,” said Kumar. It was also decided in the meeting that the 14-day Heritage Festival beginning August 1 will have various theme-based programmes. Lectures on topics such as Parsis and their contribution to Ahmedabad, Jews and their contribution to Ahmedabad, city during Sultanate period and Modern Ahmedabad would also be held. Mayor Gautam Shah also briefed the heritage experts on how Ahmedabad became the first World Heritage City of the country. “In future, Ahmedabad will be a guide for other Indian cities,” he said.As part of the celebrations, experts suggested to start a magazine on heritage and invite international and national-level writers; make a new theme song on Amdavad, among others.

Devotes throng Shiva temples on Shrawan’s first Monday in Nepal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A large number of devotees in Nepal thronged Shiva Temples on first Monday of Shrawan, holy month devoted to Lord Shiva. Every Monday of Shrawan is considered auspicious and important to appease Lord Shiva as devotes believe that worshiping him on this day would lead to fulfillment of all the desires. Devotees on Monday flocked to Pashupatinath Temple in capital Kathmandu and queued up to get into the temple for worship from 2 a.m. local time though the gates usually open at 3 a.m. “It is for my family, eternal peace for oneself and I stood in queue since six in the morning,” one of the devotees after worshiping Lord Shiva in Pashupatinath, told ANI. Enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Pashupati Temple is a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. “Women regard Monday as a good day to worship and keep fast on this day for the long life and eternity of their husbands,? another devotee said. Apart from its religious importance, the Pashupatinath Temple is also regarded as the saviour of Nepal at the times of difficulties. Apart from Pashupati other Shiva Temples or Shivalayas in capital Kathmandu also witnessed the surge of devotees on the day that is devoted to Lords Shiva.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Extremely unique:’ Lion nurses leopard cub in Tanzania

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newly released photographs from a Tanzanian wildlife area show an incredibly rare sight: a leopard cub suckling on a lion believed to have given birth to a litter last month. The five-year-old lion lies unperturbed as the small leopard, estimated to be a few weeks old, nurses in the photographs taken Tuesday by a guest at a lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a United Nations World Heritage site. “To observe a thing like this is very unusual,” said Ingela Jansson, head of the KopeLion conservation group, which seeks to resolve conflict between lions and local residents who hunt the predators in order to protect their livestock. The lactating lion, fitted with a GPS collar so that researchers can track her, may have lost her own cubs and therefore was open to feeding the leopard cub, Jansson said. The leopard, meanwhile, appeared to have lost contact with its mother, she said. “Cross-species nursing for wild cats, and other wildlife for that matter, is extremely unique,” according to a statement from Panthera, a wild cat conservation group based in New York. There have been cases of adoptions and suckling among wild cats and other animals of the same species, as well as cases of birds feeding chicks of another species whose eggs were inadvertently laid in their nests, according to conservationists. “It’s really mysterious,” Luke Hunter, president and chief conservation officer of Panthera, said of the new images. He said it was unclear whether the leopard’s mother was still around and could retrieve the cub from “lioness day care,” which would be the best possible outcome. However, Hunter cautioned that “the natural odds are stacked against this little fellow,” which may have since been killed by other lions that recognized it was not one of their own. Even in normal circumstances, only 40 per cent of lion cubs in the area, which is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, survive their first year, Hunter said. Known as Nosikitok, the lion that fed the leopard was seen with other lions but without cubs of any kind on the day after the photographs were taken by Joop van der Linde, a guest at Ndutu Safari Lodge. Jansson of KopeLion jokingly described the extraordinary lion-leopard cub nursing as a case of “confusion at the supermarket” in which the lion “picked up the wrong kid.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

44 heritage sites of the city to come alive in voice of MICA students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>MICAVaani, MICA’s student- run community radio station, had recently recorded audio guides for 44 heritage sites in Ahmedabad. These would be soon converted into bar codes by INTACH’s (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Ahmedabad chapter, and made available to tourists visiting the country’s first World Heritage City-Ahmedabad, as part of the Smart Signage project.The project, in joint collaboration with AMC, was undertaken by INTACH under the guidance of convenor Abhay Mangaldas. DNA had reported about it in November 2016.These audio guides will help tourists in getting information about various heritage sites of the city. Vyom Vasavada, a second year student and MICAVaani member, said, “Our team of 18 was very excited when the project came to us. We researched on various heritage sites, scripted and recorded audio guides at our MICAVaani studio. We learnt a lot about the city through our research. We wish to create awareness about the same through this project.”MICA dean, Dr Preeti Shroff, said, “MICA community congratulates Ahmedabad and those who made efforts which resulted into UNESCO granting the World Heritage City status to Ahmedabad.” Saying that youths can serve as an important contributor in preservation of heritage, Shroff added, “We at MICA are very proud about the ongoing collaboration with AMC, INTACH, Abhay Mangaldas and other leaders for creating signages for all important historic monuments in the city.”She added, “Every drop in the ocean counts and we will continue to engage MICA students via our community radio MICAVaani to learn from the communities of this heritage city and its rich culture.”

UNESCO wants Poland to stop logging in part of pristine wood

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Participants in a UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s session have called on Poland to immediately stop logging in the oldest part of Europe’s last pristine forest and threatened to put the site on a list of endangered heritage. Poland’s Environment Ministry is under strong criticism from ecology groups and from the European Union for having increased logging in the Bialowieza Forest, parts of which are Europe’s last unspoiled woodland. The EU threatens sanctions for what it says is a threat to the forest. Environment Minister Jan Szyszko claims trees are cut only in parts of the wood to control a bark beetle infestation. But today the UN body, debating in Krakow, in southern Poland, said it “strongly urges” an immediate stop to logging in the forest’s oldest part.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

The battle to save Mumbai’s art deco buildings

Mumbai is believed to have the second highest number of art deco buildings after Miami.

Cong dismisses SAD protest as ‘attempt to divert attention’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab Congress today dismissed the statewide protest launched by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as a “frivolous attempt to divert public attention from the failure” of its erstwhile government in the state to protect the interests of the Sikh community. In a joint statement issued here, several Punjab Congress leaders termed the protest as another “attempt by the Akalis to further vitiate the atmosphere of the state”, which had witnessed a spate of incidents of sacrilege under their rule, which were aimed at “serving their petty political interests”. The statement was issued by Harinder Singh Bhambri, Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, Balbir Singh Sidhu and Narinder Singh Bhaleria — all district unit chiefs of the Congress party. They claimed that the SAD’s “desperate attempt to vilify” the Amarinder Singh-led state government on the issue of the Heritage Street liquor ads had already “backfired” on the party, which was “totally responsible for the obnoxious fallout of its decision” to lease out the LED screens “in gross violation of all ethical norms”, without apparently even following the due legal procedure. Faced with an “imminent exposure” on this and other issues, especially related to “financial bungling and mismanagement” during the decade of its rule, the Akalis were now resorting to “gimmickry and theatrics in a desperate bid to cover up their own wrongdoings”, they claimed, while pointing out that the government would soon bring out a “white paper” on the financial misdeeds of the Parkash Singh Badal regime. Rejecting the allegation that gurdwara properties were being usurped by Congress leaders, the district unit chiefs of the party termed it as an “eyewash” by the Akalis, who had themselves been “guilty” of controlling the largest and most important Sikh religious body, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), “to promote their vested political interests”. They termed the SGPC’s decision to support the dharnas staged by the Akalis as “unfortunate” and stressed on the need to delineate politics from religion in order to safeguard the religious interests of the people. The Congress leaders alleged that it was the Akalis who had undermined the Sikh religious legacy by “promoting communal disharmony and indulging in divisive politics” in the state and added that the people of Punjab were sick of such “destructive politicking” and wanted to see the opposition parties play a constructive role to help the government restore their confidence and bring the state back on the path of progress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

INTACH, Google to preserve a slice of Delhi’s history

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Capital shares a special relationship with baolis or water bodies that are an integral part of Delhi’s rich historic heritage. And in a recent initiative, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, in a collaborative effort with Google, has digitised all the seven baolis surrounding the city, in an effort to preserve this slice of history. This is especially important, as some of them have become engulfed in rapid urbanisation and fallen victim to the travesties of timeTitled Baolis of Delhi-Stepping into Step Wells, the project offers a virtual tour of these water bodies, with specially curated photos that have been developed for online visitors to discover interactive experiences of these relics of past sitting in the comfort of their home.The initiative covers all the seven baolis that dot the length and breadth of the city, each offering a detailed insight into the structure courtesy ultra high resolution pictures that have captured extraordinary details of the architecture which may not be visible to naked eye.The baolis that have been digitised include Gandhak Ki Baoli in Mehrauli, which is the oldest water reservoir in Delhi, and was built by Iltutmish for Sufi saint Qutbbudin Bakhityar Kaki, as well as two of the most popular- Agrasen Ki Baoli in Lutyen’s Delhi and the baoli at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. Apart from Rajaon Ki Baoli situated in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, the virtual experience enables one to visit reservoirs that no longer have public access. These include the baoli at Feroz Shah Kotla which became off limits for visitors have few incidents of people falling into the deep well, the Hindu Rao Baoli ahead of Pir Ghaib which has been fenced but the structure can still be seen from above. The baoli at Purana Qila which too is closed to visitors, can also be seen up, close and personal through the digitised storytelling medium.The walk through is also a lesson in history as each baoli has detailed description of its architecture, historical significance and other information. The photographs are available on the website of Google Art and Culture(GAC) and also on the app on both iOS as well as Android.Talking about the Baolis of Delhi, Simon Rein, programme manager- India, GAC said, “Delhi holds a unique reputation with the sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with partners like INTACH, Archaeological Survey of India etc. Through this endeavour, we aim to make India’s rich heritage and culture including the century old Baolis more accessible to people at home and abroad.”

Delhi Metro’s ‘Heritage Line’ thrown open to public

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Metro made a major foray into the Walled City of the national capital, as the ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Line’ was thrown open to public today. It has three stations — Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. The new line, which is essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of the Yellow Line. The new line was flagged off by Union minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, through video conferencing at Metro Bhawan here. Complimenting the Delhi Metro for the opening of the line, Naidu said that old Delhi is the tourism and cultural hub of the city where many monuments of great historical importance are located. This line will bring many more people to these monuments as now the visitors will not have to worry about traffic jams and parking hassles. “We all remember how the first metro connection to this part of the city had revived the market areas of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar a decade ago. This connect will further help in boosting the economy in this part of Delhi,” Naidu said. Naidu said the construction of this line was full of challenges as the Delhi Metro engineers had to build through many congested areas as well as through stretches close to important historical monuments. The three stations of this line, all underground, have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present. With the opening of this line, the total metro network currently operational in Delhi and NCR is now 217 kilometres with 162 stations. In India, 346 kilometres of Metro Rail is operational at present. Around 530 kilometres is under construction in various cities and more than 800 kilometres is under consideration with various state governments, Naidu said. He also used the opportunity for drawing attention to the need for enhancing the public transport capacity in the city to provide the first and last mile connectivity. He said that focus should be on more cycle tracks and better public transport in Delhi. “The culture now is that every member of family is having a car which is not right,” he said. “I would like to mention that the cities which have taken a holistic approach to urban mobility planning and have adopted a comprehensive set of well-integrated measures have succeeded in addressing the issues such as pollution, congestion, lack of connectivity etc,” he stressed. Naidu said the Centre is formulating a new Metro Rail policy for future projects, in line with the government- approved National Policy on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). “The last decade has witnessed the development of metro projects across the country. However, with more and more cities aspiring for metro rail, it is the need of the hour to have a policy on the metro rail so that such systems are decided upon and implemented in the most sustainable manner,” he said. Kejriwal said the Delhi Metro has today become the pride of not only the city but the entire India. There are many countries now which are looking up to Delhi Metro and DMRC is providing consultancy to many towns and cities. “From the point of view of environment protection, time management and economy, Delhi Metro has emerged as a very suitable mode of travel,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Venkaiah Naidu, Kejriwal to jointly inaugurate Heritage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will jointly inaugurate the Heritage Line stretch of Delhi Metro on Sunday. It has four stations–Kashmere Gate, Dilli Gate, Jama Masjid and Lal Quila. The new line is expected to take considerable load off Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of Yellow Line. It is essentially an extension of Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently. The Heritage Line will be inaugurated at 10 a.m. It will be open for public from 12 noon.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Heritage Line trial run disrupts Metro services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a difficult day for commuters on Delhi Metro’s Violet Line, as the trial run for the upcoming Heritage Line delayed the scheduled trips on Tuesday. Low frequency and extended time gaps between two stations on the 36km corridor left the passengers stranded.”I took the Violet Line from Mandi House to go to Lajpat Nagar Metro station at 2.30 pm. It took me more than 30 minutes to reach the destination. Normally, it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes,” Rachna Tyagi, a Delhi University (DU) student, said.According to commuters, there was a time gap of at least 10-15 minutes between two trains, instead of the usual five minutes.The new Heritage Line from ITO to Kashmere Gate is an extension of the Violet Line, which, at present, runs from Escorts Mujesar in Faridabad to ITO. The Heritage Line is expected to be opened soon and a safety inspection was being conducted on Tuesday.”As the Commission for Railway Safety (CMRS) inspection of the new line was going on, several trains had to be sent back from Mandi House, which was being used as a terminal station instead of ITO. The reversal of trains took time, for which other trains on the track had to be put on hold,” a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official said.

Industrial activities pose threat to Sundarbans: IUCN report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sundarbans, a natural world heritage site spread across India and Bangladesh, is facing major threats from increased shipping and industrial activities, says a latest report by a leading global conservation agency. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the advisory body on natural World Heritage, has recommended action to tackle major threats in listed sites, including the Sundarbans, home to iconic royal Bengal tiger. The World Heritage Committee reports released yesterday include IUCN’s advice on necessary measures to tackle threats affecting the world’s iconic natural areas. A total of 55 natural World Heritage sites including the Sundarbans have been monitored by IUCN this year, in collaboration with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. “Natural World Heritage sites facing threats include Do ana National Park in Spain, a crucial wetland for migratory bird species which is threatened by unsustainable use of water for agriculture; and the Sundarbans in Bangladesh home of the world’s largest population of tigers, together with India’s Sundarban National Park, which is exposed to a number of threats including a coal-fired power plant project, increased shipping, and reduced inflow of freshwater,” the report said. Despite having the highest international recognition, natural World Heritage sites continue to face serious threats, including from climate change, industrial activities and armed conflict, the report released yesterday claimed. At present, 18 natural sites are listed as ‘in danger’ out of 238 listed for their outstanding natural value, IUCN said. IUCN has found that the Sundarbans does not currently meet the requirements for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It said immediate implementation of the recommendations related to the freshwater flows, large scale developments in the vicinity of the property and integrated management is imperative to prevent the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of the property from becoming irreversibly damaged. “It is therefore recommended that, in the absence of substantial progress with the implementation of the above, the Committee should consider inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 42nd session,” it said. According to WWF, the Sundarbans forest is about 10,000 sq km across India and Bangladesh, of which 40 per cent lies in India, and is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile, royal Bengal tiger, Water monitor lizard, Gangetic dolphin, and olive ridley turtle. The forest in India is divided into the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, and together with the forest in Bangladesh is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers are found.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

See Pics: Rashtrapati Bhavan to get a facelift

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eighty years and 13 Presidents later, the iconic palace of the Indian head of the state is finally getting a facelift. The 330-acre Rashtrapati Bhavan that has 65 structures will undergo several phases of conservation.The Presidential Secretariat commissioned the conservation work to the Delhi chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). INTACH collaborated with the central public works department to create a plan for the first phase.The main building – The President’s House – will see work happening during the second phase of the facelift. A detailed project report (DPR) will be submitted next month for the conservation work on the building.Speaking to DNA, an official from the President’s House said that the main intent was to restore the original characteristics of Edwin Lutyen’s architecture. “While the buildings and the landscape retain their original flavour, the subject of additional functional requirements to cater to the needs of the President’s Estate need to be addressed,” the official added. Rashtrapati Bhavan is a Grade A heritage building, as identified by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and is considered by many as one of Lutyen’s best works.“Although Rashtrapati Bhavan is a single, unified complex, it was decided to divide the project in two phases. The first phase will tackle the precinct and second phase will tackle the main building itself,” said Ajay Kumar, the project director at INTACH.Lime mortar mixed with jaggery and non-salty sand is being used in the conservation process. The main building has four floors with 340 rooms. The palace with two lakh square feet floor space has been made with 700 million bricks and 3.5 million cubic feet of stone, with some steel. The overall cost of restoration work, including adding the electrical fittings, is approximated at Rs 10 crore.“The work at Rashtrapati Bhavan will hopefully serve as an example and model to encourage other institutions to adopt a scientific measure to conserve and manage heritage structures,” said Swapna Liddle, Convenor, INTACH.

A blind elephant banned from parading in festival in Ernakulam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, an elephant known for its height, is temporarily banned from parading in festivals in Ernakulam district. An order in this regard has been issued by Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla, District Administration officials said here today. The elephant is banned from parading as it is partially blind and as per the elephant parade rules, it is unlawful to parade blind elephants. The step is taken to ensure the safety and security of the people attending the festivals, they said. Earlier, Heritage Animal Taskforce, a state-based animal rights campaigner, had alleged that Thechikottukavu Ramachandran which is being paraded in temple festivals, has a track history of killing 11 people and three elephants. Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, a crowd puller in temple festivals across the state, is an elephant owned by a temple Devaswom in Thrissur district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tipu’s armoury building translocated for laying track

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tipu Sultan’s pyramid-shaped armoury in Srirangapatanam has moved to a new address after the railways translocated the heritage structure intact to make way for a track. This was a first of its kind move by the railways to translocate a heritage property. A massive exercise was undertaken with the help of experts to translocate the building successfully to a nearby location for laying track near Mysore, said a senior Railway Ministry official. Constructed during Tipu Sultan’s era (1782-1799), the armoury building was located right in the way of the proposed alignment of double track between Bengaluru and Mysore. “The entire heritage building was shifted 40 metres away from its existing location safely without causing any damage to the protected property,” the official said. The month-long massive exercise of translocating an entire monument at Srirangapatanam to a nearby rail land with the help of US expertise was carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 13 crore. Though the construction work of doubling the line between Mysore and Bangalore had started since 2013, the alignment could not be completed due to the heritage building which was coming in the way. The job was executed with the help of experts from USA, the official added. For lifting and moving the building, total 37 jacks were pressed into service. All these jacks were connected with the unifying jacking system for simultaneous and synchronised operation to prevent any unequal lifting and damages to the structure. The armoury building is a typical single-storey masonry structure with arch roofing system.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hyd to host Kerala-Telangana heritage fest on Feb 25

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A ‘Kerala-Telangana Heritage Festival’ would be organised here for three days beginning February 25, Telangana Tourism Minister Azmeera Chandulal said today. The minister released a poster concerning the event, a state government release said. Artistes and others from film and cultural fields from Kerala would participate in the festival, Telangana Culture and Tourism Secretary Burra Venkatesam said. Chandulal said ties between Kerala and Telangana would be strengthened through the event.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Outfit alleges elephant torture in local temple fest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Heritage Animal Taskforce, a state-based animal rights campaigner, has alleged that as many as 24 elephants were ‘tortured’ by compelling them to walk in the scorching sun as part of a recent temple festival in Thrissur district. Violating the rules, a blind elephant was also paraded as part of the ‘Cheerakuzhi shasti’, a local festival two days ago, the HATF alleged. “As many as 24 elephants were abused at this place from 11 AM to 7 PM compelling them to walk under scorching sunlight through tarred road of state highway,” the outfit said in its complaint to the Director, Project Elephant, MoEF, New Delhi. “This type of performance is a quite violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Performing Animals Registration Rule 2001 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960,” HATF secretary V K Venkitachalam said. He also alleged that the blind elephant, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran which was paraded, has a track history of killing 11 people and three elephants. “As per the elephant parade rules, it is unlawful to parade blind elephants. Parading of jumbos between 11 AM to 4 PM is also an unlawful activity. All these illegal activities occurred when the day temperature was 40 degree Celsius,” he said. The activist asked the authorities to initiate penal action against those responsible for “this type of organised crime” against elephants.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

I&B Ministry committed to safeguard filmic heritage: Mittal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is committed to safeguarding the country’s filmic and non-filmic heritage and is taking all necessary steps to preserve films and non-filmic material for posterity as per global standards, its secretary Ajay Mittal said today. Mittal was speaking on the occasion of the launch of Film Condition Assessment, which is the first phase of implementation of National Film Heritage Mission, NFHM. NFHM is the Centre’s prestigious mission for preservation, conservation, digitisation and restoration of rich cinematic heritage of the country, an official release said. National Film Archive of India (NFAI) is the nodal organisation for the implementation of this project. Rs 597.41 crore has been allotted towards implementation of the project, which was kick-started with launch of the first phase of the mission, Film Condition Assessment, it added. “This is a one-of-its-kind project in the world, wherein the government is spending huge amount of money towards the aspect of film preservation, in order to make rich filmic heritage available for the future generations to come. “The condition of about 1,32,000 film reels at NFAI would be assessed and necessary measures would be taken to prolong their life. Each film reel will be tracked and monitored through RFID tagging, during the first phase”, Mittal added. The Secretary also launched NFAI’s initiative of digitisation of non-filmic material. “This is a step in the direction of government’s Digital India initiative, wherein non-filmic heritage of the country would be digitised, restored and made available to the people at large,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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