2 houses razed near Nizamuddin | delhi | Hindustan Times
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2 houses razed near Nizamuddin

Days after Hindustan Times pointed out how various authorities have been passing the buck when it comes to demolition of unauthorised construction within 100 metres of any protected monument, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi sprung into action on Thursday.

delhi Updated: Jun 30, 2011 23:41 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Days after Hindustan Times pointed out how various authorities have been passing the buck when it comes to demolition of unauthorised construction within 100 metres of any protected monument, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi sprung into action on Thursday.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) demolished two small residential units right in front to Atgah Khan’s tomb, near the entrance of Nizamuddin Dargah — the shrine of 13th century saint Nizamuddin Auliya.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had lodged a complaint with the police and sent a copy to MCD after residents carried out fresh construction barely 10 metres away from the tomb of Atgah Khan, husband of Ji Ji Angah — one of Mughal emperor Akbar’s wet nurses.

An amendment in the archaeological act by way of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (amendment and validation) Act (AMASR) 2010 bans any construction within 100 metres of a centrally-protected heritage site or monument. HT had, on Tuesday, reported how ASI, MCD and police shirked responsibility vis-à-vis demolition of unauthorised construction and kept of passing the buck.

The MCD had unsuccessfully attempted demolition but left it midway after police advised suspension, citing the law and order situation.

“Today, we got help from the police for the action… (so) we went ahead with the demolition,” said Deep Mathur, MCD’s director (press and information). However, the residents disagreed. Said Nizam Rasool, “Our’s is an ancestral property, not a new construction. The MCD did not serve any notice before demolition. We had given these two units to poor cancer patients, who have been (now) rendered homeless.”

Sources said there are as many as three families staying in the crypt of Atgah Khan’s tomb. The ASI and the MCD are also supposed to ask these families to shift. The ASI has also served notice to eight families living in the vicinity.

Vijay Singh, the competent authority for Delhi under the AMASR Act, said, “MCD should be more sensitive and more concerned that no unauthorised construction is allowed within the prohibited area (100 metres) and regulated area of a protected monument and it (MCD) should carry out immediate preventive and removal action.”