Damage to Jama Masjid serious, needs immediate attention: Report
The district administration’s report on the degeneration of the iconic Jama Masjid says the damage to the structure is serious and the 361-year-old mosque in the heart of old Delhi requires immediate restoration.
“Observations and suggestions for Jama Masjid restoration have been compiled. The findings say the damage is evident and it should be taken seriously. According to the survey report, the mosque receives 10-20, 000 tourists and worshippers every day and the damaged portions pose a threat to them,” a Delhi government official said.
Teams comprising members of the District Diaster Management Authority (DDMA), Delhi circle of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) examined the structure on Thursday, hours Hindustan Times highlighted how cracks triggered by water seepage were threatening the Mughal-era mosque.
After the survey, the teams were to submit their findings to their respective department heads on Friday.
DN Dimri, ASI spokesperson, said the headquarters had not received the report so far. “A survey was done by the Delhi circle on Thursday but they are yet to submit the conclusion,” Dimri told Hindustan Times.
A government official said a team of senior officials of the district administration, DDMA, and the ASI will again carry out a joint inspection of the mosque to assess the damage on Saturday morning.
Manisha Saxena, divisional commissioner (DC), Nidhi Srivastava, district magistrate (central), and Rajendra Deohri, deputy superintendent (archaeology) will be present, he said.
“Senior officials of the district administration and ASI (Delhi circle) will go the mosque on Saturday. The central district’s disaster management authority is coordinating their visit following the directions of the DC. All officials concerned have been informed,” said the official.
The ASI last carried out restoration work at Jama Masjid 10 years ago after a report by conservation architect Naveen Piplani.The Masjid is not an ASI-protected monument and its custodian is the DWB, which says it neither has the funds nor the expertise to get the repair work done.
“A note sent to DC recommends instant restoration. The mending is to be done by the ASI. A comprehensive note is likely to be sent to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal who may seek ASI’s intervention,” said a DWB’s official.
Syed Tariq Bukhari, general secretary, Jama Masjid Advisory Council, which manages the mosque’s affairs, said no agency had come up with any proposal to renovation mosque so far.
“I have been told that teams of officials of district administration and ASI would come to Jama Masjid again on Saturday. Except this, I had no information what the ASI has decided to address the issue. I urge the government to initiate required repairing of the mosque as soon as possible,” he said.