The Fatehpuri Masjid, built in the 17th century, at the western end of Chandni Chowk, is akin to an island of tranquility.
However, of late, residents of the Walled City have complained of disturbance due to “unnecessary” repairs.The mosque is not a centrally-protected monument, but in view of its importance, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was roped in for its conservation and structural repairs. The Centre sanctioned R6 crore for the upgrade work.
At present, there is seepage inside the mosque roof, dome and carvings. The carvings need a new coating and plugging leaks. The burjis (small towers) of the minars of the main monument are broken, burjis on the gates towards east and north have fallen and the walls of these gates are in a dilapidated condition. However, the ASI instead of repairing the monument changed about 25 wooden doors of the rooms at the eastern side compound.
“It went ahead with changing the flooring, which is in a fairly good condition. They wanted to show us a sample and changed a large chunk,” said Mahmood Ahmed, supervisor of the mosque.
Nafis of the Youth Service Mission from the area said, “In October 2011, work had started at the gate on the Chandni Chowk side. However, it is still pending.”
“The ASI has been carrying out unnecessary works. They need to concentrate on stone works and carry out structural repairs, which we can’t do,” said Dr Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Imam of the Fatehpuri Masjid.
The officials, however, did not comment on why the ongoing work was prioritised this way which was “allotted in 2010-11” during another official’s time.
“As there is a time limit for tenders. (So) work which was taken up earlier will need to be finished first. Then we will take up structural repairs,” said BR Mani, ASI’s spokesperson.