HYDERABAD: In what could be music to the ears of heritage lovers, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday proposed to provide resources for the restoration of the Qutb Shahi tombs in Hyderabad. The over 400-year-old tombs are among 25 cultural world heritage sites singled out by Jaitley in his budget.
“Facilities at India’s 25 Cultural World Heritage Sites are still deficient and require restoration. Facilities like landscaping restoration, signage and interpretation centres, parking, access for differently-abled, amenities for visitors including securities and toilets, illumination and plans for benefiting communities around them would be restored,” he said.
Happy with the Centre’s decision, the Department of Archaeology said a detailed action plan would be drafted for the conservation of the tombs. The entire Qutb Shahi dynasty, except the last ruler, were buried in the tombs located near the Golconda Fort. It is currently being looked after by the State Department of Archaeology and Museums. An MoU was recently inked between the department and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) for preservation of the tombs.
When contacted, the archaeology department officials said the action plan would be prepared by the time an official communication from the Centre arrives. “AKTC has been working for a few months on the main tomb. It is a long process and we are yet to get some more land cleared for the tomb site,” Vijayakumar, Deputy Director, archaeology department, said. The tombs were put on the tentative list of Unesco sites for world cultural heritage earlier in 2012. “AKTC has brought technical expertise and Rs 100 cr. A Central government grant is welcome and we hope much more comes towards protection of the other 350-odd state-protected monuments,” said P Anuradha Reddy, Convener of INTACH Hyderabad.