In the wake of the attention drawn to threats posed to a stepwell in Gurgaon’s Badshahpur Baoli by a sector road being constructed in its vicinity, the Archaeology Department of Haryana has decided to take over all monuments of importance in the district, which are 100 years old or more.
Dr Praveen Kumar, Director of the Archaeology department, said, “We are ready to take over all important historical and heritage places in Gurgaon and adjoining areas to protect and conserve them, and also develop them as tourist spots so as to develop Gurgaon into a Golden Triangle between Delhi and Jaipur.”
Structures of historical importance, that are privately owned, and are more than 100 years old, will also be taken over as part of this arrangement, after giving the owners due compensation — based on the collector rate of the area.
Dr Kumar was part of the meeting with the district administration and officials from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on Tuesday, where it was also decided that the Archeology Department will take over the Badshahpur Baoli and “restore it to its original glory”. “The route of the sector road has been slightly realigned, as a result of which the Baoli will be saved. We will use our technology to restore it to its original glory and state, and preserve it,” said Dr Kumar.
The decision comes six days after The Indian Express carried a story shedding light on the deteriorating state of the Baoli, which was also in danger of extinction. The stepwell, which reportedly dates back to 1905, is believed to have been built by a resident of Badshahpur village, who intended it to be used for community purposes and for livestock.
However, as residents of the area have shifted from agriculture to other professions, and the area urbanised, the stepwell has fallen out of use. Today, it lies amongst multi-storey buildings, lined by a cluster of slums, with plastic and other waste covering its surface, which has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.