As part of regularising unauthorised colonies in Jamia Nagar, a station-method survey would be carried out to ascertain the exact location of what was once called Jogabai Mound, an ASI-protected site of historical importance.
The urban development ministry had asked a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) before regularising these colonies — part of the 1,639 such colonies in the city.
Although the fate of the colonies such as Zakir Nagar and Batla House — suspected to have come up over Jogabai Mound — remains uncertain, area’s elected representatives feel a practical solution exists.
Also, a majority of the 1,639 colonies got the sanction but the ASI withheld the certification to those falling within 300m of different protected sites. Seven colonies, including Batla House, Joga Bai, Mehboob Nagar and Zakir Nagar, have not been cleared either.
“The place where the mound existed was regularised in 1978. These seven colonies are not part of the mound area,” said Asif Mohammad Khan, Jamia Nagar MLA said.
There was no fencing around the Jogabai Mound when the colonies started coming up in the 1960s-70s, resulting in dense construction over the area where once existed Qaiqabad Palace. “The palace was built by Muiz-ud-din Qaiqabad, grandson of Balban, who is credited for shifting the capital from Mehrauli,” said ASI’s Delhi circle chief KK Muhammed.
In the past four decades, the ASI never carried out any excavation in the area.
And, with the area under concrete cover, the Delhi circle had long ago proposed de-protection of the site. The proposal is still pending with ASI director general.
Sandeep Dikshit, member of Parliament from East Delhi constituency — under which Okhla was brought under this time — said: “I am appraised of the issue. I am sure, the ASI will take a practical view.”