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Bringing baoli back to life

21 August 2019

At a time when many areas in Delhi and multiple cities across the country are facing acute water shortage, Mughal Emperor Jahangir-built baoli at Arab Ki Sarai can become a harbinger of hope for water conservation. It is being revived with the twin purpose of heritage and water conservation. Comprising a circular well, this baoli can be accessed by a steep flight of steps. What made the work — part of ASI-AKTC project with support of the German Embassy — challenging for the team was that a roof that covered the well had collapsed… Throwing light on the project, which started in April, Aga Khan Trust for Culture (India) head Ratish Nanda, who is credited with restoring baolis in Hyderabad where the collected water is used for irrigation, said: “Indeed, water conservation is critical. This baoli will also recharge groundwater aquifers. To enable this, grounds around baolis are being regraded. Currently, we have piped water for irrigation,”…To revive the original function of baoli, AKTC also plans to re-grade the earth within the Arab Ki Sarai bazaar to collect rainwater within the baoli, a catchment area of 1.5 lakh litres.