Heritage park opens in Walled City

Delhi: 21 March, 2022(Hindustan Times)

According to officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the idea for the park was conceived in 2017.

President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind at the Charti Lal Goel Heritage Park near Jama Masjid in New Delhi on Sunday. 

 

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Charti Lal Goel Heritage Park near Jama Masjid in old Delhi on Sunday amid cultural performances, strains of classical music and a traditional dance by a troupe of artists in a Mughal-style baradari (a building or pavilion with 12 doors designed to allow free flow of air).

According to officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the idea for the park was conceived in 2017. The first phase of the park is built over an area of about 1.75 acres at a cost of ₹7.65 crore, which was contributed by ministers of Parliament from various parties and former Union minister Vijay Goel.

“The park will be developed as a cultural hub of the Walled City where food synonymous with Old Delhi will be served, there will be displays of handicraft and the park will serve as platform for cultural gatherings,” said Goel.

Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, chief secretary Vijay Dev, mayors of the three municipal corporations -- Raja Iqbal Singh (NDMC), Mukesh Suryan (SDMC) and Shyam Sunder Aggarwal (EDMC), senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Baijayant Panda, and Rajya Sabha member Roopa Ganguly, who also contributed funds for the park, were among those present at the inauguration.

The park, located opposite the Parade Ground parking facility, was originally named Heritage Park. The name of Charti Lal Goel, former deputy mayor of the erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi and first Speaker of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, was later prefixed to it, officials said.

A white marble bust of Charti Lal Goel, father of Vijay Goel, has also been installed near the baradari, forming the centrepiece of this garden. The garden comprises “rich stocks” of flowers and shrubberies, including petunia, dog flowers, marigold, carnation, poinsettia, ornamental cabbage, croton and furcaria, a senior NDMC official said.

The park is also endowed with Mughal-style chhatris (umbrellas), stone railings and lamp posts, borrowing design elements from the Red Fort’s ramparts, ornate gates and a sunken open-air theatre, all of which have been constructed using red sandstone, white marble, Dholpur stone, and Delhi quartzite stones.

The park is in close proximity to the 17th century Jama Masjid and faces Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the other side.

Architect Kapil Aggarwal, who designed the park, said: “We wanted visitors to feel the park was part of both the sites and therefore, we chose heritage elements after careful research, so that new structures would complement the existing heritage fabric of the region.”

In the second phase of this urban renewal project, the remaining 2.25 acres of area is to be developed at an estimated cost of ₹10.03 crore. For the first phase, the NDMC had arranged ₹4.70 crore from its own resources, officials said.

The second phase also envisages reviving the old water stream (referred to as “nahar” by locals) adjacent to the current boundary wall of the park, they said.

The area is slowly being barricaded, and civic officials said work on the next phase has begun.