Surat fort and its nearby area is likely to undergo a INR 154 crore makeover. The budget was approved by public works committee of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) recently. Under the master plan, an area of about 3 sq km around the old fort will be developed as a part of Chowk Bazar Heritage Square project. The second phase of restoration work already started for the four-phased project.
The restoration, conservation and preservation of the fort built in mid-16th century would make this an important heritage site in Surat. The project is likely to be completed in 2021-22. State government is also likely to give grant for the project.
“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 keeping 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 glimpse of the past, Modi added.
Sarosh Vadia, another conservation architect associated with the fort conservation project said, “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, information office and petrol pump.”
SMC is already in talks with different stakeholders for getting possession of the buildings. SMC commissioner M Thennarasan said, “It is an attempt to recreate and make people understand their heritage. We expect the remaining phases of Chowk Bazar Heritage Square project to complete in next four years.”