More than 25 families of Moth Ki Masjid urbanised village, facing demolition threat for unauthorised construction near a centrally-protected monument, have questioned as to why no action is being taken against a similar construction carried out by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
After Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) registered complaints about unauthorised construction in the vicinity of Moth Ki Masjid, south Delhi Municipal Corporation has slapped notices on as many as 28 residents for unauthorised construction in prohibited area (0-100 metres) and regulated area (101-300 metres) of Moth Ki Masjid, a 16th century Lodi-era monument.
"We are taking action after ASI notices were issued to the residents. As and when the police force is available tomorrow, action would be taken," said a senior MCD official.
"We are living in this village for almost 500 years and the authorities have slapped notices on us. Why is no action is being taken for the massive construction being carried out by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)?" asked Sumit Saini, secretary of Masjid Moth People's Voice Association.
The construction by AIIMS is being carried out on the north-west side of the monument within both prohibited and regulated areas. As per documents obtained by the association under RTI Act, the work order for construction of dining blocks for AIIMS was issued only in March this year.
"How can one agency of the government apply rules to us and takes action, while another break the same rules?" asked Navin Bharal, vice president of the association.
"The heritage bye-laws are not in place and till then, the status quo should be maintained," Navin added.
Monument specific heritage byelaws will enable people in the regulated areas to obtain permission for new construction. However, an AIIMS official said that the construction is being carried out with due permission.
"We have been told that they (AIIMS officials) have permission. But we are looking into the issue and verifying whether or not they actually have permission for this construction," said DN Dimri, who heads ASI's Delhi circle.
AIIMS' proposal is still pending approval of the National Monument Authority (NMA). Pravin Shrivastava, NMA member secretary said, "We have not given any permission as yet."