Dwarka's only cultural relic, a Lodi-era baoli in Sector 12, is lying in a deplorable state in just a year of revival.
The baoli, or stepwell, once a tourist attraction, hardly has a soul in sight these days. The area is strewn with garbage, its overgrown thickets badly in need of a trim and most of its signages either damaged or gone. The portacabin for the guards has been vacant for months.
"It is a shame how the authorities have treated the baoli," said Umesh Kala, former vice-president of the RWA of Gangotri Apartments in Sector 12, which is located adjacent to the stepwell. "A guard had been deployed to take care of the baoli, but his portacabin has been lying empty for the past six months. Why will tourists even visit this place?"
According to sources, the baoli had been restored by INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and handed over to the state archaeology department for maintenance. City Spidey spoke to INTACH officials about the baoli's dreadful condition. They said that after the restoration, there were plans of beautifying the premises, planting trees and developing the baoli further as a tourist attraction, but none of that was done.
Instead, the area has now been reduced to a garbage-dumping zone.
"This baoli is Dwarka's only cultural and historical marker, yet nothing has been done to promote it or maintain it," said MP Singh, resident of Shubham Apartments in Sector 12. "Most people don't even know it exists."
Several residents in the area also said that these days it was a common sight to see miscreants drinking or taking drugs at the baoli. "The authorities should treat the baoli as the cultural heritage it is and take it seriously," said Mahesh Chowdhury. "This is shameful."