MCD pulled up for delay in Jama Masjid re-development

September 29th, 2008 - 11:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday pulled up the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for not starting the re-development work for the historic Jama Masjid and asked it to consult environmentalists at the earliest.A division bench of Justices Mukul Mudgal and Manmohan criticised the MCD for not complying with the court’s earlier order of completing the re-development work in 24 months. The time limit ended this May.

The court also asked the civic body to approve the new re-development plan prepared by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), consult two environmentalists and submit a detailed report by Sep 10, the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing a public interest petition by the Heritage and Cultural Forum, an NGO run by lawyer Usha Kumar, seeking re-development work at the mosque.

The 17th century mosque has not been declared a protected monument so far, though the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) have included it in their respective lists of protected monuments, the petition said.

However, the Waqf Board opposed declaring the monument a protected one, saying it would hurt the religious sentiments of those who visit it to offer prayers as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) does not allow offering prayers inside a protected monument.

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