North MCD to renovate historic Town Hall to showcase heritage
With an aim to develop an attractive tourist destination of international standards, North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to redevelop historic Town Hall situated at Chandni Chowk into a centre of cultural and social heritage.
The Corporation said that the re-development of Town Hall would be done on 'Public Private Partnership' (PPP) mode for which in-principle approval has been accorded.
Town Hall, a landmark building in the Walled City area, was the seat of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) since 1866 during the British till late 2009, when offices shifted to an another location in the Capital city.
The construction of the building started in 1860 and was completed in 1863.
It was initially known as Lawrence Institute and housed Delhi College of Higher Studies, before it was bought by the Municipality for Rs 1,35,457 in 1866.
Originally, a bronze statue of Queen Victoria stood in front of the hall but soon after independence in 1947, it was replaced with the statue of Arya Samaj leader Swami Shraddhanand.
Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Preety Aggarwal on Thursday said that the museum at the re-developed Town Hall would be the main tourist attraction and it would occupy an area of about 1,574 sq mt in the ground floor.
Agarwal added that with the move, the Town Hall would emerge as a centre of culture and social heritage, depicting the history, culture and the life of Delhi.
She further highlighted that the objective of the re-development is to provide a complete and wholesome family experience to the visitors.
"The complex will have a craft bazar, dancing fountain, the maze, light and sound programmes, street food, children activity area, boutique hotel, food court, courtyard and sculpture garden, digital library, lecture rooms, a museum, fine dining areas and much more at the premises," she added.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Gupta said that the project was initially planned to be funded by 'Union Tourism Ministry' but could not be materialised and now it would be developed on PPP mode.
He said that that the project would be taken up in the next 9 months and is likely to be completed within two years.
Gupta further said that the project is expected to earn good revenue to the Corporation apart from depicting the history of Delhi and its heritage to the visitors.