Expessing his concern over dilapidated state of historical mosque Jama Masjid, built by fifth Mughal emperor Shahjahan, the Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday seeking his intervention for carrying out repair of the structure especially, the iconic minarets.
The southern minaret suffered damage due to heavy rain and strong winds that lashed the national capital on Friday evening.
According to the mosque staff, a large red sandstone slab — approximately 2-metre long, 12-18 inches wide, and 3 inches thick — of the southern tower fell off after heavy downpour.
“Some stones fell down from the minaret but a major mishap was averted as the mosque is closed to the general worshippers due to the lockdown..Due to the falling of these stones, the support of the other stones around them has gone and they have weakened. This warrants immediate repairs to avoid any grave mishap. I shall be grateful if you instruct the Archaeological Survey of lndia (ASI) to inspect the monument and commence its necessary repairs, and particularly to inspect the two minarets in order to ascertain their condition,” the letter reads.
The minaret in question is a popular attraction for visitors as they are allowed to climb to its top gallery to view the panoramic surroundings of the Walled city area.
The Mughal period building is not an ASI-protected site and the responsibility of its management and the responsibility of maintenance lies with the Delhi Waqf Board (DWB).
However, the ASI has been carrying out repairs at the mosque since 1956 under special arrangement.
“The structure of the internationally renowned Jama Masjid Delhi is in dire need of repairs. As a special case, its repairs had been carried out, from time to time, by the ASI. I am hopeful that you shall kindly instruct the ASI take cognizance of the critical situation,” Bukhari requested-IANS