Intach writes to state, seeks preservation of 100-year-old stepwell

Updated on Jan 19, 2018 10:39 PM IST

Intach officials claimed that while they want to preserve the heritage structure, the owner and the NHAI never agreed on terms to restore it

The present owner of the land claimed that the stepwell is being filled up to build a sector road.(HT PHOTO)
The present owner of the land claimed that the stepwell is being filled up to build a sector road.(HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, Gurgaon

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) on Friday wrote to the Haryana government urging measures to preserve a 100-year-old baoli (step well) located in Badshahpur, near which a road is being constructed and the structure is being filled with soil.

The baoli is being filled up to construct a sector road, alleged the present owner of the land.

“I have been told that a sector road will be constructed in the area. I cannot fight with government agencies. There is also a small school which will be demolished to free up space for building the road,” said Ved Prakash Mangla, the grandson of Mohan Lal who constructed the step well in the year 1905.

“My grandfather constructed the step well to conserve water, as the region used to face the water crisis. Now the entire purpose of having the step well has been defeated after the area was encroached upon and the catchment area was destroyed,” Mangla said.

INTACH officials claimed that while the body is keen to preserve the baoli, the owner and the organisation never agreed on terms to restore it.

Atul Dev, convener, INTACH, Gurgaon chapter, said, “INTACH is keen to preserve the step well, but the owner wants to maintain it himself. We have written to the Haryana government to preserve the historic structure.”

Officials of the Haryana urban development authority (Huda) said that they would review the status of the land and take necessary steps.

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“We do not have any plans to fill up the historic structure. We can also divert the road if it is, indeed, posing a threat to the step well,” Yashpal Yadav, administrator, Huda, said.

Responding to the INTACH’s appeal, the district administration held discussions on the issue with Huda officials.

“The issue has been taken up with Huda. The step well will be protected,” Vinay Pratap Singh, deputy commissioner, Gurgaon, said.

The area also has a fort which once was the residence of one of the wives of emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and was built in medieval times. The village also got its name after the fort, claimed locals. However, with no proper maintenance, the fort is in ruins. Locals allegedly encroached on the space and set up residence there.

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