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Hit by official apathy,3 forts to get turnaround funds

By may 2012,the three famous forts,Sinhagad,Rajgad and Torna situated in and around the city will soon sport an improved look.

Written by Garima Mishra | Pune |
November 21, 2011 4:53:23 am

By may 2012,the three famous forts,Sinhagad,Rajgad and Torna situated in and around the city will soon sport an improved look. The State Archaeology Department plans to spend Rs 4.5 crore on development and restoration of the three forts. These forts together get thousands of visitors every day.

“We have estimated an expenditure Rs 1 crore for Torna Fort,Rs 2 crore for Rajgad Fort and and Rs 1.5 crore for Sinhagad Fort for development and maintenance. We plan to begin the work by February and complete it before May,” said Ventakesh Kamble,assistant director,State Archaeology Department.

At Sinhagad Fort,the department plans to repair the Kondhanpur-Kalyan Darwaja and Pune Darwaza that are broken at various places. “Since these are the two main routes to the fort,we need to repair them on priority. Besides,a number of trees have grown along the fortification wall,which might damage the wall. We will see how we can prevent that,” said Kamble. Apart from that,officials said they will repair the railings broken at various points and also the ‘Zhunzaar Buruj’ (watch tower) that faces the South-East side of the Sinhagad Fort is visited by around 100-150 people daily.

Another historical monument to get a makeover is the Torna Fort,located around 60 km from Pune. Here too,the two main gates ‘Binicha Darwaja’ (Bini Gate) and ‘Konkan Darwaja’’ (Konkan Gate) will be repaired.

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While Binicha Darwaja leads you inside the fort,the Konkan Darwaja takes you to the Budhala Machi. The wall,which is broken at various stretches of the fort,will be made again.

Also on the cards is maintenance work at Rajgad Fort. “The water tank at the fort needs repairs. We will also be working on other areas of the fort that were noticed during our survey of the site,” said the official.

Activist Milind Shirsagar,who is associated with Shivaji Trail,says that out of the 28 historic forts in Pune district,most are in a pathetic condition and need immediate attention. The water tank at Rajgad Fort was damaged more than eight months ago and something should be done to make the route towards the Bale Killa,which is extremely inconvenient,he says. “There are no guides or direction maps for tourists. There are no proper toilets at Torna or Raigad,” says Shirsagar,who has visited around 750 forts of the country till date. He has visited Rajgad Fort over 80 times. He added that though he keeps hearing of a large amount being sanctioned for restoration of the forts at regular intervals,he has not witnessed any concrete work at any of the forts in the recent years.

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