Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 13, 2018-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Jama Masjid zone makeover: Fingers crossed as Old Delhi redevelopment body submits plans

The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation — a special body constituted to plan and execute redevelopment of Old Delhi — has submitted two plans to the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) for review.

delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2017 11:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Jama Masjid,Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation,Old Delhi
Delhi is hosting ASEAN summit in January and the Centre has asked all agencies to restore monuments and spruce up prominent tourist attractions and markets across Delhi by mid-January.(HT FILE)

Locals and experts are upbeat over a comprehensive revamp and decongestion plan for Jama Masjid, proposed by the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC). They expect that the plan will be implemented this time, unlike several others which had been proposed but remained in papers only.

The SRDC — a special body constituted to plan and execute redevelopment of Old Delhi — has submitted two plans to the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) for review.

“We hope to get a response from SPA soon,” said a Delhi government official. Rampant encroachments and unbridled illegal constructions around the 360-year-old monument have been on the radar of the authorities for a long time. In the last six months, Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal has visited Red Fort, Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid twice — latest on Saturday, and directed that the makeover of the heritage zone must be taken up on priority.

Saving Delhi’s heritage
The SRDC proposes to build centrally air-conditioned shops, sports facilities, community centre, arts and cultural centre and parking for about 1,500 cars by razing 22 steps near Shahi Darwaza and creating space underground. It also plans underpasses for smooth traffic.
1 MAIN ENTRY from Netaji Subhash Marg (About 15 metres high)
2 PASSAGE for the Shahi Gate (14 mtrs wide)
3 Remains of the AKBARABADI MASJID
4 GREEN PATCHES
5 Concrete space for worshippers
6 Dargah Sheikh Kalimullah
7 JAMA MASJID
8 Mazar of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
1 ENTRY/EXIT for community facilities
2 AUDITORIUM
3 ART GALLERY
4 MUSEUM
5 UNDERPASS 4 From Nukkad Faiz Bazar to Daryaganj
6 LIBRARY
7 UNDERPASS 3 Traffic from Jama Masjid may take a U-turn here to go towards Delhi Gate
8 UNDERPASS 2 From Nishadraj Marg to Netaji Subhash Marg; traffic may take Underpass 1 to take a U-turn
9 UNDERGROUND U-TURN for traffic from Kashmere Gate side, going towards Parade Ground
10 PARKING for tourist cars and buses
11 PARKING (Urdu Bazar side)
12 SHOPS
13 UNDERPASS 1 From Heritage Dharampura Road to Netaji Subhash Marg, U-turn for the traffic from the underground facility to merge into it
14 Parade ground MULTI-LEVEL PARKING
15 PASSAGE for shoppers 14-metre-wide)
16 PARKING Meena Bazar
17 Underground MEENA BAZAR
18 FOOD COURT
19 WUZUKHANA (place for ablutions) and civic facilities
20 Space for ceremonies and indoor sports facilities
Graphic: MALAY KARMAKAR / HITESH MATHUR

Delhi is hosting ASEAN summit in January and the Centre has asked all agencies to restore monuments and spruce up prominent tourist attractions and markets across Delhi by mid-January. The official said the Centre’s directions will also ensure that the revamp plan is expedited.

Haji Miyan Fayazuddin, who runs a guest house opposite the mosque, said efforts to give the area a facelift were long pending as even local lawmakers and councillors have ignored the area. “Roads are full of potholes along Chawri Bazaar. The historic Urdu Bazar has been turned into a food street. Illegal constructions overrun roads leading to the mosque, not to mention the encroachments by hawkers and illegal parking lots. There is not even space to breathe.. Good that someone is at least thinking to do something now,” he said.

Rana Safvi, author and historian who conducts history walks in the area, said the area desperately needed attention. “The filth and chaos belies the significance the imposing structure carries. It is getting from bad to worse. We hope the plan takes off this time,” she said.

The two plans sent to the SPA are prepared by Pradeep Sachdeva, appointed by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to draft the plan that proposes relocation of Meena Bazaar and SRDC’s consultant (tourism project) Vijay Singh. As per Singh’s plan, the market should be moved underground (see graphic).

The degradation of the monument and the areas around it was first raised in 2004 through a public interest litigation (PIL) based on which the Delhi High Court asked the authorities to redevelop Jama Masjid and its precinct, spreading over 23 acres. A plan was prepared and approved by the court two years later. However, it could not move beyond papers and meetings. A case regarding the PIL is listed on December 29.

“Once the SPA approves and we get a nod from the court, a committee will decide the further action plan,” the official said.

First Published: Dec 11, 2017 11:21 IST