In line with his commitment to restore the “forgotten” and “derelict” heritage of Delhi and truly make Delhi a “City of Joy”, Lt. Governor VK Saxena has instructed that the Anang Tal Baoli (11th-century pond) be brought back to life with fresh water within two months.
Anang Tal Baoli (pond), a heritage structure of Delhi, was reduced to a basin of muck due to decades-old sediment of garbage, and sewage discharge from the adjacent hotels and slums.
He was accompanied by senior officials of DDA, DJB, ASI, and Forest Department on a visit to the site today.
Anang Tal Baoli is nestled in the thick reserve forest “Sanjay Van”, which is a part of the South Central Ridge. It was constructed in the 11th Century by Anangpala II, the Tomar ruler who is said to have inhabited the city of Delhi around his citadel of Lal Kot- one of the earliest known fort in Delhi.
While DDA has immediately begun de-silting of the Anang Tal Baoli, the ASI too, will begin the excavation work and submit a report in the next 3-4 days along with a concrete time frame to complete the restoration work.
“De-silting of the pond will be completed before the arrival of monsoon so that the pond could be filled with fresh rainwater,” stated LG office in a press statement.
Restoration of the 45-feet deep Anang Tal Baoli will not only recharge the groundwater but also add to the aesthetic beauty of the area and has the potential of eventually developing into a tourist destination.
The LG gave specific instructions to restore every heritage structure in the vicinity of the Baoli, underlining that this would create awareness among the large number of people visiting this forest.
Another natural depression in the vicinity of Anang Tal Baoli was also identified for converting into a water reservoir.
The LG was informed that the sewage water flowing into the Baoli from the adjacent hotels and jhuggis has now been stopped and a chunk of encroached land inside the forest area has been cleared.
Besides, he has directed officials to carry out plantation of fruit-bearing trees within the forest so as to outnumber the Vilayati Keekar trees.
He also told officials to start cocoon rearing in Sanjay Van so as to create awareness among people, particularly school children about silk production.
In addition, the LG has instructed the officials to identify green patches inside the forest that could be developed into the locations for organizing small national and international conferences, festivals, cultural events, and other recreational activities in the natural ambiance in harmony with the surroundings.
He also asked the officials to identify and develop spots/viewing points within the forest that offered a clear view of the Qutub Minar.
He directed that an MoU be worked on and signed, between DDA, ASI, World Monument Fund (WMF), India, and Tata Consultancy Services Foundation (TCSF) within a week to carry out the comprehensive restoration of the heritage Baoli.