PWD demolishes illegal extensions at ITO temple and mosque | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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PWD demolishes illegal extensions at ITO temple and mosque

Feb 26, 2023 02:13 AM IST

Two unauthorised religious structures located on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, near ITO were demolished by the Public Works Department (PWD) during an encroachment removal drive on Saturday morning, officials of the agency said, and added that the action was taken on orders of the Delhi high court

Two unauthorised religious structures located on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, near ITO were demolished by the Public Works Department (PWD) during an encroachment removal drive on Saturday morning, officials of the agency said, and added that the action was taken on orders of the Delhi high court.

Illegal extensions by a mosque and a temple were demolished at ITO by Public Works Department (PWD) as part of an anti-encroachment drive. The drive was carried out on the orders of the Delhi high court. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Illegal extensions by a mosque and a temple were demolished at ITO by Public Works Department (PWD) as part of an anti-encroachment drive. The drive was carried out on the orders of the Delhi high court. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

The PWD deployed three bulldozers and two trucks for the drive that took place under heavy police presence. Barricades were placed on the BSZ Marg carriageway towards Delhi Gate to stop movement of vehicles, police officers said.

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A PWD official said the Saturday’s drive boundary walls and ceilings of a temple and a mosque located between Indian National Science Academy and Bureau of Indian standards were taken down. “We are just complying with the court directions,” the official said asking not to be named.

In an order on Thursday, the high court ordered the demolition of the two structures for making the pedestrian pathway uniform, and remarked that “both the places of worship are clearly abutting the path of the pedestrians”. Justice Pratibha M Singh said under such circumstances where the safety of the pedestrians is jeopardised, “A larger public interest will overweigh the concerns raised by both places of worship, i.e the mandir and the masjid.”

The court clarified in its oral order that none of the properties would be considered as “unauthorized occupants”, and that no penalty/damages should be levied on the two places of worship. It further directed the PWD to make arrangements for one toilet each for the mandir and the masjid with proper hand washing area, so that the devotees are not subjected to any hassle.

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A representative of the Sanatan Dharam Mandir (Prachin Shiv Mandir), situated at Jheel ka Piao, opposite Link House at ITO, said the bulldozers arrived early morning and started demolishing the temple extensions. “We had received the notice from the agency (PWD) last year and took the matter to the court, but no relief was granted,” the representative said asking to remain anonymous.

On Thursday, the counsel for the Waqf board -- which manages the mosque -- Wajeeh Shafique told the court that the masjid to the office people in the ITO area. He said that the structure was once demolished in 2015 during the construction of the Metro, and later was rebuilt by DMRC.

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