The Bhopal Municipal Corporation pulled down the crown of 180-year-old Shaukat Mahal on Sunday despite resistance by heritage lovers of the city. The structure had recently developed cracks and a part of the ceiling had collapsed in April.
The BMC team blocked all roads leading to the Royal Quadrangle and snapped electricity connection to avoid any untoward incident. Additional commissioner MP Singh, ADM Vikas Mishra, SDM Ravi Singh and other senior officials were present at the site during the operation to avoid any untoward incidents.
Earlier on Saturday, the BMC team had tried to raze the crown-like structure on the century old building but retracted following stiff protests from locals.
A hundred-member strong team of the municipal corporation reached the 19th century monument and razed the decrepit part of the structure with the help of a JCB machine. The corporation workers succeeded to raze the structure in the fourth attempt.
Several people had gathered at the site as an anti-encroachment team of the BMC reached the old city in the afternoon and put up ropes on the 45-feet high crown of the palace.
Reacting sharply to the BMC's decision to raze portion of the heritage structure, conservation archaeologist Pooja Saxena, who is also an advisor to the heritage cell of BMC, maintained that the crown of the heritage building could have been repaired.
"Though it would be long and painstaking process the Shaukat Mahal crown could have been restored," she said.
An architectural marvel
A blend of both oriental and occidental styles of architecture, the Shaukat Mahal was constructed in the 1830s in the honour of Sikander Jehan Begum
The design of the Shaukat Mahal is attributed to Bourbons of Bhopal, descendent of French kings
The church like structures and crown on the façade makes the palace an architectural marvel
The brick-red building is an integral part of the famous royal quadrangle of Bhopal around the Iqbal Maidan (earlier Khirniwala Maidan)