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MONTHS AFTER a proposal was floated to rename the Teen Murti Marg as Teen Murti Haifa Marg, after a city in Israel, comes another renaming in the capital. The Dinpanah Archaelogical Park, the largest such park in the heart of Delhi, will soon be known as Indraprastha Archaelogical Park.
In late 2014, the DDA had proposed that Delhi’s fourth archaeological park be named after Dinpanah — the historical city set up by Mughal emperor Humayun. While the other three parks in the city — Mehrauli, Sultangarhi and Tughlakabad – were already notified in the Delhi Master Plan (MPD) 2021, the DDA proposed the inclusion of Dinpanah at a later stage, during the 14th meeting of the Advisory Group on Review of MPD 2021 in August 2014.
Spread over 800 acres, the Dinpanah Archaeological Park comprises the Purana Qila area, with nearly 100 monuments and a lush green forest. The DDA aimed to bring together various stakeholders such as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the National Monument Authority, the Central Public Works Department, the Ministry of Environment, Delhi Urban Heritage Foundation and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to carry out the planned development of the area and enhance visitor experience. Dinpanah, in fact, is bigger the other three archaeological parks.
The nomenclature had raised the ire of certain sections.
Neera Misra, Chairperson-Trustee of Delhi-based Draupadi Dream Trust, an organisation that promotes arts and culture, had sent letters to the ASI, Ministry of Culture, and to Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, registering her objections as an “Indian citizen and conservationist” to the area being named as Dinpanah, contending that archaeology is not just built heritage, but also remains/ signs of the “lost built heritage”. She requested the government to consider the area’s links to the Mahabharata era rather than the Mughal empire, which came much later.
Consequently, the ASI had sent a letter to the DDA vice-chairman, on August 11, 2015, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, saying, “This has reference to naming of the archaeological park in the Purana Qila area, it is informed that the area had archaeological evidence going back to 1,000BC, and witnessed several cultural and dynastic strains. The Ministry of Culture and ASI have examined the issue and opined that it would be in the fitness of things to name this as Indraprastha Archaeological Park.”
Though the DDA has not notified the name change till date, it is likely to do so soon. Both Manju Paul, Director (Planning), DDA, and Manisha Gupta, Senior Architect, DDA, confirmed to The Indian Express that the renaming is in the offing. However, they refused to offer any time frame for the notification to be issued for the same.