Imagine a newly renovated house complete with lush green lawns and fresh paint. And now imagine an electrical pole bang in front of it.
Similar is the fate of a 14th Century monument at Wazirabad in north Delhi.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected Wazirabad tomb, the mosque in the complex and an adjoining bridge are being spruced up for the Commonwealth Games.
But a electric pole in front of it spoils the façade.
The complex is located off the main road and is visible from the Ring Road. The pole, once used as a power department’s feeder pole for local transformer, was placed there before the 1994 notification that made all area within 100 metres of a centrally protected monument as prohibited area.
There is no transformer now and all that remains is the pole with two stretch wires.
“It is the monument that should be the centre piece of development in the area. The pole needs to be removed,” said Nayanjot Lahiri, professor of History at Delhi University and an authority on historical archaeology.
As part of conservation work, the ASI is carrying out pointing (use of traditional mortar to give finishing touch to brickwork) and water proofing of the terrace of the tomb and the mosque.
They also plan to reinforce the bridge, which is still in use.
The work is being carried out at a cost of Rs 18.5 lakh.
“We are taking up the issue with the power company and planning to remove this soon,” said K.K. Muhammed, ASI Delhi Circle chief.
Stating that the pole can be removed in the interest of heritage, Ajay Maharaj, spokesperson for the North Delhi Power Limited, discom for the area, said: “The ASI has to put in an application and pay for its re-location.”