ASI surveys damaged Jama Masjid minaret, restoration may begin soon

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) may soon take up restoration of the damaged minaret of Mughal-era mosque in Shahjahanabad Jama Masjid.

An official of the ASI conducted a preliminary survey to assess the damage and the scope of work on Monday.

The southern minaret suffered damage due to heavy rain and strong winds that lashed the national capital on Friday evening. A large red sandstone slab of the tower fell off. The broken piece of the stone pierced the floor.

ASI officials, aware of the development, said an inspection report with an estimate for repair would be sent to the competent authority for approval.

“The report pertaining to Jama Masjid’s minaret repair is yet to be received, however, a site inspection was done on Monday. The damage has also been photographed. We know that the mosque is really in a dilapidated state. The proposal with estimates will be sent to the headquarters after which the authority will make a decision,” said an official, requesting anonymity.   

After the incident, Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Sunday wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for repairing the structure.

“Due to the falling of these stones, the support of the other stones around them has gone and they have become weakened and thus warrant immediate repairs to avoid any grave mishap. I shall be grateful if you instruct the ASI to inspect the monument and commence its necessary repairs,” the letter reads.

“An official came to see the minaret and took some photographs. He is expected to submit his report to the higher authority. I am hoping that the work will begin soon,” said Bukhari.

The building is not an ASI-protected site and the responsibility of its management and the onus of maintenance lies with the Delhi Waqf Board.

However, the ASI has been carrying out repairs at the mosque since 1956 under a special arrangement.

Close shave

The southern minaret of Jama Masjid suffered damage due to heavy rain and strong winds that lashed  the national capital on Friday evening.

A large red sandstone slab of the tower fell off. The broken piece of the stone pierced the floor. However, no one got injured.



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