Indian media: Restoration of Humayun's Tomb

Humanyun's tomb in Delhi is a UNESCO World Heritage site Mughal emperor Humayun's tomb in Delhi is a Unesco World Heritage site

Media in India are discussing the official reopening of Humayun's Tomb, a 16th-century mausoleum in Delhi, after six years of restoration work.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reopened the Unesco World Heritage Site on Wednesday and praised the efforts of the craftsmen involved in the project.

Mr Singh said it provided employment to thousands of master craftsmen through the public-private partnership model.

Apart from government departments, non-government organisations like The Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust also played an important role in the restoration work.

"The mausoleum is back to its original splendour along with the revival of the Mughal-era craftsmanship in its vicinity," says the Deccan Herald.

Built in 1565, nine years after the death of Mughal emperor Humayun, the mausoleum was designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas.

The restoration project is the "largest and most ambitious heritage conservation project" undertaken in India , the Firstpost website reports.

Mr Singh highlighted the importance of the project, saying "India has one of the richest repositories of heritage anywhere in the world and it is critical that we find practical and innovative ways to preserve and maintain this heritage".

The Aga Khan Trust and the Archaeological Survey of India flew in master craftsmen from Uzbekistan - the original home of Babur who founded the Mughal dynasty in India - to train people for the work, The Indian Express reports.

The restoration work took six years to complete The restoration work took six years to complete

The Economic Times says "during these six long years, each stone on the facade of the mausoleum was individually inspected to ensure minimum intervention and millions of kilograms of concrete and plaster inappropriately applied in the 20th century was removed".

"This world heritage site, which suffered alterations in many of its structures due to use of cement during 20th century interventions, has been brought back to its architectural integrity by use of traditional materials combined with traditional building craft skills of masons, plasterers, stone carvers, and tile makers," the Deccan Herald adds.

The restoration is likely to draw in more tourists to the monument which, many historians believe, inspired the design of the Taj Mahal.

Austerity measures

Meanwhile, the finance ministry has announced a series of austerity measures for government departments to restrict the fiscal deficit to 4.8% of the GDP in 2013-14.

These measures include a ban on holding meetings in luxury hotels, barring officials from business-class air travel and restrictions on buying new vehicles, the Zee News website reports.

The ministry has also advised officials to keep the size of delegations travelling abroad to "absolute minimum", the report adds.

However, financial newspaper Mint says that experts are "not entirely convinced about the efficacy of the initiatives".

The measures are "nothing new and are a reiteration of such steps taken in the past. Every year the government unveils such steps to curb wasteful spending and to meet the fiscal deficit target but these announcements fall short of any meaningful cut in government expenditure", The Times of India says.

Meanwhile, newspapers and websites say rising onion prices have the potential of harming the chances of the ruling Congress party in the general elections due next year.

"The price of onions, that has been upsetting family budgets across the country for the last two months, is now threatening to have a major impact on the fortunes of the Congress in the coming elections," the Hindustan Times says.

Onions are an important part of any middle-class family's shopping list in India and the current price of almost 100 rupees a kg ($1.62; £1), up from the usual 15-20 rupees, is making their lives tough.

"Price rise is one issue that can unsettle governments. It is expected to be one of the hot election issues in 2014," says The Tribune.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More India stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.