|Heritage & Tourism Sector in The National Capital Region
In the Regional Plan-2001, no specific policies and programmes were envisaged for
this sector. However, since tourism has great potential for the balanced & harmonised
development and to strengthen the economic base of the National Capital Region,
this plan lays special emphasis on integrated tourism development and heritage conservation
& management in the region. There is a close and symbiotic relationship between
the imperative of tourism and heritage conservation. Coordinated strategies of heritage
protection and tourism development will act as an important economic generator of
employment and as an instrument to decentralised urban development.
The heritage in region, both man-made and natural, has suffered through negligence
and ironically also due to various acts of omission and commission attributable
to the planned development of urban settlements and industrial areas as well as
the unplanned and unauthorized growth in the National Capital Region on account
of the earlier Plan not taking due cognizance of the sector.
Few monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or State Archaeological
Departments are reasonably intact and have survived. However, a much larger number
of unprotected monuments have suffered due to neglect, vandalism and encroachments,
since there was no mechanism to prevent them in the existing Master/Development
Plans as well as Regional Plan. The unprotected monuments refer to those monuments,
which have not yet been identified as culturally valuable, but are nevertheless,
good examples of cultural/historical heritage that should be provided with same
level of protection.
Another valuable area of heritage that is being slowly obliterated is traditional
urbanscape. This is because neither of the Centre/State Archaeological Protection
Acts recognises them as possessing heritage value. These areas may or may not contain
individual buildings, which qualify for protection, but when considered as an ensemble,
they represent valuable heritage worthy of conservation.
Identification of Heritage Sites
There are 258 Centrally protected monuments and 20 State protected monuments in
the region. Besides the above legally protected monuments, the Indian National Trust
for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has listed a large number of monuments being
worthy of receiving protection in NCR. It has so far identified 1,627 monuments
and 26 conservation areas in the region that need to be protected. These heritage
sites need to be identified and listed for appropriate protection. This will also
help in identifying the existence of conservation areas, which require immediate
Zaffar Hasan in 1911 had identified 1,321 monuments in Delhi and this number had
also been reflected in MPD-2001. Because there was no positive policy for the conservation,
over the years this number, according to INTACH, reduced to 1,208, which included
166 centrally protected monuments by ASI under ASI Act, 1958. The Municipal Corporation
of Delhi had notified these monuments as heritage buildings. Besides these, State
Government is proposing to notify about 150 monuments as soon as the GNCT of Delhi
Act is notified for Preservation of Monuments. Remaining monuments are at present
not receiving any protection and are under threat. The Government of NCT-Delhi is
also in the process of enactment of a Heritage Building Act for preservation of
the buildings, which are more than 100 years old.
Policies and Proposals for the Protection of Man-made Heritage Sites
Central and State Legislations ensure physical protection of the buildings/sites
but they have not been able to control the development of the land appurtenant to
the actual protected area. This is where it is possible to employ the instrument
of the Town and Country Planning Legislation to protect the area around the protected
monument. In view of this, following policies/strategies are proposed:
i) The listing of monuments and conservation areas of all the towns/districts in
NCR should be completed on priority basis. All the centrally protected, state protected
and listed buildings should be identified with their footprints on the Master/Zonal
Plans of each town and in the District Plans in the region. Specific requirements
for their protection should be highlighted in the said plans and may vary according
to their level of significance. A distinction needs to be made between the legally
protected buildings and the 'listed' buildings. The 'listed' buildings do not require
the same level of scientific protection as the centrally and state protected monuments.
ii) Town and Country Planning Legislations of the constituent States have provisions
for the development of "Special Areas". Each State should use this instrument to
declare the area around the protected monuments to be special areas and prepare
area level plans for an area covering 300 metres around it. These plans should clearly
indicate the nature of development, permissible and non-permissible activities within
this area in conformity with the prescriptions provided in the central and state
archeological protection legislations
iii) In addition to protected/listed monuments, it is not unlikely that in view
of the rich history of this region that hidden or not-yet-excavated sites also exist.
The respective departments of archaeology should indicate where they reasonably
expect to find underground ruins, and these areas should be duly identified in the
Master Plan for each town and the respective district level plans. Buildings proposed
to be constructed in these areas should require a no-objection certificate from
the relevant departments of archaeology before the building plans are sanctioned.
iv) If evidence of historic buildings is revealed during the excavation for foundation,
then the appropriate departments of archaeology should be allowed a specified period
of time to record the evidence from this site and remove any artifact that is found
before construction activity is permitted to proceed. In order to implement these
policies, if any amendment is required in the Town and Country Planning Act of the
constituent States, it should be done.
National Capital Region is endowed with rich natural heritage sites, which need
to be developed as conservation areas. In order to conserve the biodiversity in
the region, it can be divided into four categories. They are:
i) Special protected areas: This includes national parks, sanctuaries and forests.
They are listed as follow:
- Sariska national park - Alwar, Rajasthan
- Sultanpur national park - Gurgaon, Haryana
- Indira Priya Darshini sanctuary - Asola, NCT-Delhi
- Hastinapur sanctuary - Meerut, U.P.
ii) Hilly areas:
- NCT-Delhi Ridge
- Aravallis at Gurgaon, Faridabad and Alwar
iii) River systems, wetland and water bodies:
- Yamuna Wetland Systems
- Nazafgarh Jheel, NCT-Delhi and Haryana
- Bhalsava lake, NCT-Delhi
- Damdama lake, Gurgaon (Haryana)
- Sohna lake/Hot water spring, Gurgaon (Haryana)
- Badkal and surrounding lakes, Faridabad (Haryana)
- All existing constructed and natural water bodies including village ponds
This include urban and rural settlements, biodiversity in large variety of crops
that grow in these areas, livestock, green areas and open spaces in the developed
areas where biotic resources manifest themselves.
Policies and Proposals for the Protection of Natural Heritage Sites
All the identified areas of natural heritage should be protected in terms of land
use and pollution control in the vicinity to ensure the protection of biodiversity
and urban ecosystems.
Afforestation with right type of species and control of growth of monoculture should
be taken up in hilly areas.
Cropping pattern, type of horticulture species that are grown and their effect on
the soil, micro climate should be understood in order to save the good agricultural
land from the loss of soil fertility. Right type of agricultural practices including
social forestry, energy plantation and agro-forestry would go a long way to improve
the natural environment. Database for the biodiversity in the region is very poor.
It should be strengthened by undertaking certain specific studies.
The enforcement of the prohibition, directions notified by the Ministry of Environment
and Forests, Government of India dated 07.05.1992 [under Section 3(1) and 3(2)(v)
of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and rule 5(3)(d) of the Environment (Protection)
Rules, 1986 restricting certain activities in specified area of Aravalli Range which
are causing environmental degradation in the region] should be ensured while taking
up developmental activities in the region. A special Conservation Plan for the above
notified areas should be prepared.
Considerable development of tourism has taken place in each State through the respective
Departments of Tourism. The respective State Departments have been very active and
have developed a variety of tourist sites in their States. This sector was not considered
in the Regional Plan-2001. Considering it as one of the important economic activities
in the region, it has been included in this Plan.
Policies and Proposals for Development of Tourism Sites
Tourism Development Plan should be prepared highlighting the smaller tourist circuits
with one to four days trip within the region to promote tourism incorporating following
policies and strategies:
i) The heritage and tourist sites should be used as instruments to direct land use
policy towards more decentralised patterns of development. They should be clearly
identified on the land use plan to prevent encroachment and inappropriate development
and should be integrated with the potentials for cultural and leisure tourism.
ii) Tourism circuits covering tourism, leisure, cultural and heritage sites should
be created with one to three days trip and should be given priority in development
of transportation and other infrastructure. Fiscal incentives should be provided
for the purpose. Private sector should be encouraged to help in development of tourism
and also invest in maintenance & upkeep of tourist destinations in the region.
iii) Tourism should be recognised as an important source of employment.
iv) Proper database for heritage and tourism sites should be developed and updated
from time to time. v) Publicity of the heritage and tourist sites in the National
Capital Region should be done through media.
For more information on Heritage & Tourism Sector in the NCR, please refer to documents below:
Regional Plan Document on Heritage & Tourism Sector
Click here to view Heritage & Tourism Weblinks