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Sarod player haunted by sealing drive

The sealing drive in Delhi has not spared sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan too. A part of his home has been sealed as it was renovated despite being close to a protected monument.
IANS | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2007 12:00 PM IST

The Supreme Court-monitored sealing drive in the capital has not spared internationally acclaimed sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, a part of whose home was sealed as it was renovated despite being close to a protected monument.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) took the action in December 2006 as such renovation is not allowed in houses close to protected monuments.

And while undertaking the renovation work, the Padma Bhushan winner had no inkling that the latest laws on protected monuments prohibited him undertaking construction activities even within his house.

Baffled by the legalities, Khan has been left doing rounds of the apex court.

On a petition by him, the court on Wednesday asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to examine his plea to regularise the renovations in his residential premises.

A bench of Justice BN Agarwal and Justice PP Naolekar directed ASI to consider Khan's plea within three weeks on its merit.

Khan had approached the court after the country's monument protecting body told him that it would not consider his application without any instruction from the apex court.

Narrating his tale of woes, Khan told the apex court that parts of his residential premises had been sealed late on December 2006 by MCD on instructions of the court-appointed monitoring committee.

The committee had taken stern steps after noticing the renovation work in his residence, located within 100 metres of protected monument Lal Gumbad, which stands in the middle of an established residential colony of Sadhna Enclave in south Delhi.

Khan said he had undertaken the renovation of his residential premises, unaware of the fact that the latest law on protected monuments had banned any construction activities within a distance of 100 meters of a protected monument.

The eminent maestro added in his petition that the construction activity undertaken to refurbish his residential premises was, however, of minor nature and did not involve even raising the height of the house.

He said after a part of his house was sealed, he approached the court-appointed committee, which asked him to bring a no-objection certificate from ASI to unlock his property. The ASI in turn directed him back to the apex court.

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