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The lights will be back, finally

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The Chitradurga Fort
The Chitradurga Fort

Firoz Rozindar

The Chitradurga Fort will be illuminated after a gap of two years

Chitradurga: The historic Chitradurga fort is all set for illumination, after a gap of over two years. The electricity supply to several prominent places and monuments of the fort was suspended two years ago when the cable laying work was taken up. The work is part of the beautification project of the ancient fort.

Since the fort comes under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the proposal was made about four years ago when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power at the Centre. The proposal was made to remove all the overhead power cables which marred the beauty of the place and replace them with underground cables.

Delay

The delay in the approval and release of funds hampered the execution of the project. It has taken two years to remove all the overhead wires and power connections. But the work was suspended when the flow of funds dried up. For over two years, the monuments of the fort remained in dark.

“The project which has been handed over to BESCOM at an estimated cost of Rs. 34 lakh, is almost completed. Since the cable laying work is over, within a week, we are hopeful of giving power connection,” said, D. Rajanna, assistant conservator of ASI. The electricity could not be supplied to water filters being installed in various places of the fort for tourists, he said.

Mentioning other works being taken up by the department, he said that a Rs. 93-lakh project for the construction of a wall to prevent encroachments is under way. The project was expected to be completed within a year. Another ambitious project of providing light and sound facilities at the fort to promote tourism was under consideration. In the project, a separate hall would be built on the fort where a documentary on the history of the fort would be shown with the combination of appropriate music and lights, he said. Mr. Rajanna said the department was studying the modalities to implement the project.

He said the fort received on an average 500 visitors a day while their number touched 1,000 during vacations.

The department was earning about Rs. 70,000 a month through tickets.

He said that although much could be done to improve the facilities, owing to dearth of funds and shortage of staff, the department was under restriction.

“With the limited staff, it is difficult to maintain the fort which is spread over 300 acres of land,” Mr. Rajanna added .

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