Delhi Town Hall to become heritage hotel

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New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) The Town Hall at Chandni Chowk may soon be converted into a 'heritage hotel' as part of the efforts to preserve the 143-year-old building, which looks quite British even today.

The Delhi government plans to hand over the Town Hall to a hotel group so that it could be used to create more accommodation at a time when there is acute shortage of rooms for tourists in the capital city.

Official sources told UNI that the government was in favour of transferring the property to the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), instead of allowing a private player to develop the historic building into a five-star hotel.

Sources said a formal decision on converting the Town Hall, which has its own history like any other town hall in other towns and cities, into a heritage hotel would be taken only after the new Town Hall, the work on which is progressing fast, is inaugurated.

The Delhi Town Hall was built in 1865, though the construction began five years earlier, when the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah was still in the Red Fort, but a prisoner of the British.

The building initially housed the famous Lawrence Institute of Educational and Cultural Affairs. But later it was converted into the municipal headquarters, though the European Club and library continued to exist in it.

The Town Hall is still one of the biggest landmarks of Chandni Chowk in the Walled City of Delhi.

The place where it stands once formed part of the gardens laid by Shah Jahan's daughter, Jahanara, in which was also situated a beautiful sarai on inn.

UNI SH MSJ GC1806

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