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  • Humayun's Tomb Gardens after rehabilitation, New Delhi, India.
    AKTC / Ratish Nanda
Aga Khan Trust for Culture in public-private partnership for regeneration of Humayun’s Tomb-Nizamuddin Basti-Sundar nursery area

Delhi, India, 11 July 2007 - An agreement on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the revitalisation of the Nizamuddin district of India’s capital was signed today. To be carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India, the Central Public Works Department and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the project will not only preserve and rehabilitate landmark buildings in Nizamuddin, but work to improve living standards for inhabitants of the area.

The project, which is expected to run from 2007 to 2012, will focus in three main areas:

  • Conservation: Rehabilitation will be carried out on several cultural heritage buildings in areas near Humayun’s Tomb, Nizamuddin Basti and the Sundar Nursery,
  • Urban Regeneration: The project includes proposals to carry out environmental upgrading of the Nullah along the Basti, enhancement of the parks/ open space within the Basti and the upgrading of the Sundar Nursery to allow greater public access,
  • Socio-economic Development: In the Nizamuddin Basti, the project will work to strengthen basic services in the three core areas of health, education and environmental sanitation.

This historic PPP follows meetings between H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honourable Prime Minister of India, and His Highness the Aga Khan, starting in 2004. H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh also visited the Baghe Babur integrated conservation project being implemented by the Trust in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Project builds on the restoration of the gardens surrounding Humayun’s Tomb that was undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and completed in 2003. The project – the first privately funded restoration of a World Heritage Site in India – brought together the joint efforts of the Trust and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the aegis of the National Culture Fund. The project revitalised the gardens, pathways, fountains and water channels of the chahâr-bâgh, or four-part paradise garden. Since its reopening, the garden has been a popular destination for Delhi inhabitants and tourists alike, generating revenues that provide for its maintenance costs.

The proposed Nizamuddin Area Development project will be similar to the Trust’s Azhar Park-Darb Al Ahmar Revitalisation Project in Cairo, where a derelict 30-hectare site became a catalyst for urban regeneration as it was converted into a major urban green space for Cairo. As the park was built, the broader area development project carried out socio-economic projects in the neighbouring Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood, once one of the poorest areas of the city. These efforts now encompass the restoration of landmark buildings in the neighbourhood, housing rehabilitation, vocational training, health care and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:
Ratish Nanda
Conservation Architect
Aga Khan Trust for Culture
1559, Sector B, Pocket 1
Vasant Kunj
New Delhi 110070
Tel: +91 11 43717792 E-mail:


In India, AKDN agencies address a broad spectrum of development issues in the social, economic and cultural spheres. Social development programmes include pioneering integrated rural development programmes; the provision of housing, water and sanitation systems to rural communities; systemic school improvement initiatives; the improvement and decentralising of the provision of health service delivery, environment conservation and post disaster relief and rehabilitation.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture focuses on the physical, social, cultural and economic revitalisation of communities in the Muslim world. It includes the Award for Architecture, the Historic Cities Programme, the Music Initiative in Central Asia, Museums Project, the on-line resource ArchNet and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, non-denominational, international development agencies created by His Highness the Aga Khan. The Network is grounded in Islam’s ethics of inclusiveness, compassion, sharing, self-reliance, respect for health and life, cultivation of a sound and enlightened mind, and humanity’s collective responsibility for a sustainable physical, social and cultural environment. AKDN is active in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Iran, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zanzibar. In India active projects in the fields of education/health/culture/rural development/micro-finance/water and sanitation are ongoing in Kashmir, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.