On Gandhi Heritage Sites list, Aga Khan Palace, Yerawada jail

The Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission, initiated by the government, will work towards preservation and restoration of 39 places associated with Mahatma Gandhi. These 39 places also include two city-based heritage structures the Aga Khan Palace and the Yerwada Jail.

The project that is a part of the mega portal on Gandhiji that aims at presenting all the information related to Bapu in a systematic and comprehensive manner, will be managed by the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust.

Shobha Supekar, assistant secretary of the Gandhi National Memorial Society (GNMS), that organises a number of activities at Aga Khan throughout the year, feels that the move will create more awareness about the historical monument. Said Supekar, "It will definitely benefit the structure in terms of its popularity as we will be able to reach out to a large number of people through the portal, besides attracting more visitors."

The palace, that was built in the 18 th century is the place where Gandhiji was detained along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi, for two years. However, Supekar adds that GNMS has not yet received any official intimation about the Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission project.

Even Archeological Survey of India (ASI) that declared Aga Khan Palace as a monument of national importance in the year 2003, is yet to receive the circular regarding the project.

Said Madan Singh Chauhan, superintendent, ASI, "At our level we keep doing restoration and conservation work. Like in 2009, we developed the public amenities and repaired the leakage areas as well. We are in talks with GNMS regarding the development of samadhi area and improvement of the display gallery and also plan to take suggestions from the experts to make it more presentable." But as far as Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission is concerned, Chauhan added further, "Unless we receive specific orders from the authorities, we cannot implement them."

Though not protected under the ASI, another site that is recommended under Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission is the prison cell at Yerwada Jail where Mahatma Gandhi was detained many times between 1922 to 1932. The jail authorities denied receiving any formal communication regarding the portal or the project.

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