Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb comprise a Mughal cultural landscape – along the river Yamuna that has fortunately remained ‘green’. However, several government agencies hold plots of land within this larger zone.
Sundar Nursery – Humayun’s Tomb – Batashewala Complex – Nila Gumbad comprising almost 200 acres of land are presently being landscaped by AKTC.
The Purana Qila comes under the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India, National Zoological Park falls under Ministry of Environment, Government Sunder Nursery (L&DO, CPWD), Batashewala Complex (Archaeological Survey of India), and Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage Site is also under the Archaeological Survey of India.
Together, these presently segregated green spaces, total in excess of 800 acres and rival the famed Central Park in New York – one of the World’s most iconic urban parks.
Since 2007, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India and the Central Public Works Department have been working on the landscaping of the Humayun’s Tomb – Sunder Nursery – Batashewala complex – itself totalling almost 200 acres.
Over 2 million annual visitors already visit the National Zoological Park and Humayun’s Tomb annually. An urban design scheme could be developed in consultation of all concerned agencies to enable unrestricted visitor movement through this entire stretch with a single ticket and single visitor management system.
The area boasts of over 50 significant monuments, is a designated ‘District park’ in the DDA Master Plan and more recently has also been designated as an ‘Archaeological Park’ by DDA in the Delhi Master Plan. Though there is some housing associated with the ZOO, there are no other residential facilities within this green area.
The BSF operates a mess just north of Humayun’s Tomb and 12 acres of land north of BSF mess, east of Government Sunder Nursery and south of National Zoological Park though acquired by L&DO is not in government possession.
Many significant and protected historic structures in this area have been taken over by modern construction. Several other structures recorded to have been standing here until the early 20th century have since been demolished or lost. In order to safeguard the significant landscape that stretches from the Purana Qila to the North to Humayun’s Tomb to the South it is proposed that this area may be protected as an archaeological park.
The boundaries of this archaeological Park shall not include the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti or the residential neighborhood of Sunder Nagar and shall be distinct from the Heritage Zone boundaries from the ‘Specific heritage complex within Nizamuddin and the Humayun’s Tomb complex’.