Ajanta Caves - Ellora Caves : Information Portal








AJANTA ELLORA CONSERVATION AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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PHASE-I PROJECT BRIEF

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation – an undertaking of the Government of Maharashtra State conceived the Ajanta Ellora Conservation and Tourism Development Project and got prepared in 1991, a Master Plan from M/s. Tata Consultancy Services, on the basis of which the Government of India requested the Government of Japan to consider grant of Financial Assistance for the Project. The Government of Japan got the Master Plan assessed by the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund (OECF) now Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and offered Loan assistance to Government of India for implementation of a part of the Master Plan as Phase I of the Project. The two Governments entered into an agreement for the Loan in January 1992. A Joint Venture of Pacific Consultants International (PCI) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) were appointed in November 1993 as Consultants for planning and overseeing the implementation of the works under the Loan.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To conserve and preserve monuments and natural resources in the Ajanta-Ellora Region.
  • To improve the infrastructure in order to accommodate the increasing number of tourists to the region and enhance their experience by providing improved facilities and services.

The present Phase of the project consists mainly of building up essential infrastructure facilities and it is completed. As stipulated in the Terms of References the Consultants have reviewed the original Master Plan and have formulated proposals for Phase 2. The proposals were presented by the Ministry of Tourism for consideration of OECF at an Inter-ministerial Meeting. The proposals were reviewed by the fact-finding Mission of OECF in February 1998. The OECF requested the Government of India to submit the proposals next year for consideration. The OECF also asked for provision of certain more details and completion of expert panel review before forwarding the proposals.

The Total project cost was estimated at Yen 4,406 million, which was equal to Rs. 817.1 Million at the exchange rate of Rs.1 equals Yen 5.39. The support from JBIC was Yen 3,745 million (Rs. 494-8 Million) and this is around 85% of the total project cost.

The major works completed in Phase – I:

  • Monument Conservation
  • Airport
  • Afforestation
  • Roads
  • Water Supply
  • Electricity
  • Visitor Management System (Vms)

The above works were undertaken during Phase-I. In the meanwhile there was a balance of approximately Rs.380 million from the loan amount due to the depreciation of Rupee, after the signing of the loan agreement. The Government of India requested the Government of Japan for extending the loan agreement, which was agreed. The loan agreement has now been extended to 31st March 2002 and further works are being undertaken based on the recommendations of 5th Steering Committee meeting.

The Sub projects to be executed in extension Phase are shown below and summary of Additional Work Package for the extended period is given as enclosure. The proposed works are completed before February 2002.

PHASE-II PROJECT BRIEF

The second phase of the Ajanta-Ellora conservation and tourism development project with the Japanese Bank of International Co-operation (JBIC) sanctioning a soft loan of Rs.300 crores has become effective from July 31, 2003.

The loan clearance was announced after the JBIC held a series of talks with the central department of Tourism and Culture and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in Delhi. The first phase of the Ajanta - Ellora heritage circuit up gradation scheme has won appreciation not only from the Japanese but also from UNESCO. The second phase envisages taking forward the conservation and a development scheme initiated in the first phase, and is estimated to Rs.360 crores. The remaining Rs.60 crores will be brought in by various agencies like the Archaeological Survey of India, Airport Authority of India and five state government agencies.

The second phase will be completed in five year time and will generate additional employment in the Aurangabad Ajanta area. This time, the funds are being utilize for not only the restoration of the Ajanta and Ellora caves but for the entire cave circuit of Maharashtra, which streches from Mumbai to Aurangabad. The plan envisages
development and repair in the Elephanta caves, Nasik Ghat, Malshej Ghat, the Shivneri fort as well as forts around Bhaja and Bedsa. Aurangabad's fabulous but long-neglected heritage monuments will also be spruced up. These include the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, Soneri Mahal, Delhi Gate, Makai Gate, Bhadkal Gate, in the Aurangabad. Pitalkhora caves, Daulatabad Fort and the Patnadevi temple. The work to be carried out at these places includes structural reinforcement, chemical conservation of the paintings and artifacts, preservation of percolation within the caves, upgrading the environment, training conservation staff and improving visitor management system.

Another major area of development will be the Lonar Crater, one of the oldest meteorite impact crater in the world (in Buldhana District). Last year, the MTDC built a resort near the crater to attract tourists. Now it plans to clean up the ancient temples on the beach of the lake in the crater and create heritage walks while simultaneously protecting the lake and wooded environs of the crater. Another important project that will be completed in the second phase is upgrading Aurangabad airport into an international airport.

The brief description of work being undertaken by each implementing agency is given below:

  1. MONUMENT CONSERVATION (Executing Agency: Archaeological Survey of India)
  2. AURANGABAD AIRPORT (Executing Agency Airport Authority of India)
  3. AFFORESTATION (Forest Department, Maharashtra)
  4. ROAD (Executing Agency: Public Works Department, Maharashtra State)
  5. WATER SUPPLY (Executing Agency: Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran)

TOURISM MARKETING & VISITOR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (MTDC)

  • Development of Ajanta Tourist Complex
  • Development of Ellora Tourist Complex
  • Public Awareness Activities:
  • Human Resource Development
  • Computerization of Tourist Information:
  • Conservation of State Archaeological Monuments
  • Development of Lonar Crater
  • Additional sub projects in the vicinity of the Caves

 

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