New Delhi, June 7 : The Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid in Delhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the damage of the minarets of the historic monument. The minarets of the Jama Masjid have been damaged due to the ferocious storm that hit the national Capital recently.
The Shahi Imam has urged the prime minister to get it repaired.
In the letter written to Modi, he said that he must direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to inspect the monument and get the necessary repair work done.
Jama Masjid's Shahi Imam Syed Bukhari told IANS, "Stones from the minaret of the Jama Masjid have fallen even in the past. Small stones keep falling but this is the fourth time it has happened that such a big stone has fallen after a strong storm hit Delhi." Revealing the reason behind the stones falling down, Bukhari said, "During the Mughal rule, iron leaves were used to keep these stones intact. As they melt with the passage of time, stones also start melting. These stones are nearly 400 years old due to which the condition of the stones is very dilapidated." "The beauty of the stones remains intact from outside but insects have been found inside them. Some of the stones of the mosque are in such a condition that they have been kept intact with plastic ropes so that they do not fall." Bukhari said, "I have also emphasized in the letter that an engineer must be sent to get the stones of the mosque examined and see how much damage has been done to the overall foundation of the mosque." Due to the falling of some stones of the mosque, there is a fear that more stones may fall in future because the adjoining stones with those which have fallen recently have become weak.
According to Imam Bukhari, during the lockdown everyone is offering prayers at home and there is no overcrowding in the mosque but if the ASI does not get the mosque repaired in time, a big accident is around the corner.
Earlier there used to be an ASI office in Jama Masjid. But after the removal of the office from the mosque, now if there is any damage is done to the mosque, a budget is first decided and then repair work is carried out.
According to official information, at present the Jama Masjid does not come under the jurisdiction of the ASI but only after a request is made for maintenance or repair, the ASI intervenes in the matter.
The Jama Masjid is made of red sandstones and white marbles. This mosque is situated just 500 metres away from the Red Fort, built around the same time.
The construction of this mosque was started by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1650. It took six years and Rs 10,00,000 to build this mosque.
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text