Surat approves Rs 154 crore makeover of heritage site

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The public works committee of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has approved the budget of  Rs 154 crore for the makeover of Surat Fort and its nearby area. According  to the master plan, an area of about three sq km around the old fort will also be developed as a part of Chowk Bazar Heritage Square Project.

The makeover of the mid-16th-century fort will make it an important heritage site in Surat. The project which is scheduled to be completed by 2022 is likely to receive grants from the state government.

“Information of 84 ports that traded with port city Surat of 16th century, development of 20-foot deep Mot around the fort and main entry in the castle from the river side is planned to keep in resonance with the original structure when it was built,” conservation architect and master consultant of the project Sumesh Modi said.

“An underground walkway that leads to Fort and development of the area from Makkai Pul to Nehru bridge, setting up of a riverfront and the green area used by soldiers for parade would also give a glimpse of the past,” Modi added.

“For the second phase, we hope there is no difficulty in getting possession of some buildings that are part of the project, like the sales tax office, State Bank of India building, an information office and petrol pump,” said Sarosh Vadia, an architect associated with the fort conservation project.

SMC commissioner M Thennarasan said, “It is an attempt to recreate and make people understand their heritage.”