Delhi monsoon: Heavy rains damage heritage structures in Salimgarh Fort


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Over three weeks of heavy rain spells in the national capital have caused damage to the protected 16th-century Salimgarh Fort.

A portion of the northern fortification wall — believed to have been built by Salim Shah, son of Pashtun Sher Shah Suri — and a dome adjacent to the entrance, which opens to Yamuna bank have caved in.

According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials, the dome was already in bad shape, and crashed down around August 21, when the India Meteorological Department issued an orange alert in Delhi. The city recorded 139 mm rainfall — the highest one-day rain for August in the last 13 years, according to the IMD.

Historian William Dalrymple tweeted this
photo of damaged Begumpur Mosque

“The dome collapsed about three weeks ago. It was already a crumbling structure, only 20 per cent of the original shape existed,” said an official. Located within the Red Fort complex, Salimgarh Fort was converted into a state prison when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb reigned.

Later, the British kept three leaders of the Indian National Army (INA) — Shah Nawaz Khan, Prem Kumar Sahgal and Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon before their trial for treason.

Meanwhile, noted historian and author William Dalrymple claimed on Monday that the roof of Tughlaq era’s Begumpur Mosque in Malviya Nagar 
had collapsed. 

“The roof of the Begumpur Masjid collapsed in the rain due to ASI neglect. With better management, this vast medieval wonder could still be a major revenue-earning tourist site,” he tweeted, and also posted a picture of the perforated roof of the mosque and rubble.

The officials, however, said that debris might be related to the previous roof collapse  incident that occurred in 2019.

“We were carrying out restoration of the damaged portion of the heritage structure. In the picture, the damage looked old but we will check it again on Tuesday,” an official said.

Another senior official said that the process to prepare an estimate for resurrecting the damage had begun. 

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