Chandrapur city is located at the confluence of the rivers Erai and Zarpat and is home to the magnificient Chanda Fort. The old city is surrounded by 11 kms long walls called ‘parkots’. These walls have four gates to enter namely Jatpura Gate, Anchaleshwar Gate, Pathanpura Gate and Binba Gate. They have five windows (Khidki in Marathi) to enter and leave the old city – Bagad Khidki, Hanuman Khidki, Vithoba Khidki, Masan Khidki and Chor Khidki. Though Chandrapur is blessed with history, many of its people do not care much to preserve it for future generations. The archaeological conservation wing of the Eco-Pro has taken up awareness drive about protection, conservation and cleanup of the heritage structures and monuments which are under bad condition in the city since March 1st, 2017.
More than 80 volunteers of different wings of Eco-Pro launched the drive of Chanda Fort by removing out plant growth and debris along the fort wall. Over 80 volunteers of Eco-Pro are involved in cleaning drive and around 30 volunteers take up the cleaning work every morning in turn between 6 am and 10 am in the city. We initially thought that it would be simple task to clean up the Chanda Fort having four main doors, 39 bastions, 5 khidkis. The project is still underway smoothly due to expertise volunteers under different wings in the organisation such as adventure, wildlife, environment, disaster management, archeological, health, police, education, corporation and other.
We have completed the basic work such as cleaning the debris, wastage construction material on the ramp of the fort wall, garbage and others.
Initially, citizens thought that Eco-Pro got a contract to clean the Chanda Fort. However, we ignored it all and are still engaged in completing the project without any support from District Administration, Government. After some time, general public themselves joined hands with Eco-Pro to clean up the historic Chanda Fort wall. Yes, the first mission of involving the general public in the drive was accomplished and we are heading towards the second mission i.e. involvement of government machineries.
The Eco-Pro organisation received applause from Corporation, district administration, public representatives, authorities of ASI and other dignitaries from Chandrapur for their praiseworthy work done for conservation of Chandrapur icon Chanda Fort. After completing of the project, the organisation has plans to approach the government requesting for restoration of Chanda Fort, maintaining cleanliness and tourism development for its conservation.
Ashutosh Salil, District Collector, who paid visit during the cleanliness drive, lauded the work done by volunteers of Eco-Pro organisation and mentioned that the district administration will plan to change mentality of the general public by involving them into the movement launched by organisation.
The outcome of the clean up drive is so impressive that the effort found a special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat. He said,
“I was pleasantly surprised on seeing the photographs of the fort after cleaning drive and whoever will see these photographs, no matter how upset he is on witnessing the filth around him, and wondering how the mission of cleanliness will be fulfilled – these photos are the answer”.
Congratulating Eco-Pro and its team for the Swachh efforts. PM Modi also said that the drive is an amazing example of accomplishing a daunting task through collective efforts and perseverance.
This Swachh Abhiyan just didn’t get praises from PM Modi, commenting on the effort, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said,
“Extremely inspired by team who relentlessly worked for 200days to achieve what once seemed to be impossible at Chandrapur fort!”