New Delhi: The Union Government on Wednesady said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of India has taken up the conservation work of the iconic Jama Masjid in Delhi accepting the request of Shahi Imam Abdullah Bukhari.
"Jama Masjid at Delhi is not a protected monument of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). However, on receipt of request from the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, ASI has taken up essential conservation work of the Masjid", Minister of State (IC) for Culture and Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Dr. Mahesh Sharma said in Rajya Sabha.
Shahi Imam Jama Masjid Abdullah Bukhari had few months back warned that part of the Delhi's Jama Masjid, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656., is at serious risk, and a repair and restoration work is urgently needed.
Teams comprising members of the District Diaster Management Authority (DDMA), Delhi circle of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) visited after the report of damages to more than 360-year-old mosque was highlighted in the media.
“Observations and suggestions for Jama Masjid restoration have been compiled. The findings say the damage is evident and it should be taken seriously. According to the survey report, the mosque receives 10-20, 000 tourists and worshippers every day and the damaged portions pose a threat to them,” a Delhi government official said in a report published in December last year.
Earlier in October 2012, the Delhi circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had submitted a report to then government on the damage caused to one of the minarets of the 17th century masjid, initiating the process for carrying out the much-needed repairs on the heritage structure.
Some six years before this in August 2006, Delhi High Court Bench had ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to start the restoration work at the dilapitated Jama Masjid and restore its “pristine glory’’.
The conservation report prepared by Delhi Wakf Board had been submitted to the High Court for perusal. The report had taken into account the state of the building’s deterioration, the nature and extent of human intervention on this masterpiece.
The Delhi Wakf Board in its report had given the details of the broken arches, domes and entrance steps; finials over prayer hall domes showing layers of dust, dirt and pollution; defaced walls; seeping verandahs; sandstone surface walls and decorated ceilings painted with synthetic paint besides others.
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