Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Bukhari seeks PM’S help to repair Jama Masjid
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, on Sunday, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to inspect the monument and carry out necessary repairs. He wrote to the PM two days after a minaret of the 17th-century mosque was damaged on Friday following strong winds and rain that struck the city during evening hours.
“The structure of the internationally renowned Jama Masjid in Delhi is in dire need of repairs….many stones of the building are in a state of dilapidation and often keep falling off. Yesterday also, 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 these days,” Bukhari said in his letter to PM Modi.
Built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan, the mosque was constructed in 1656 and is not an Asi-protected monument.
The responsibility of the mosque’s maintenance rests with the Delhi Waqf Board. A sudden thunderstorm and rain showers accompanied by strong winds travelling at 60 kms per hour lashed the city on Friday, following which, a slab of red sandstone from the minaret came crashing down and pierced the floor beneath, also damaging the mosque’s courtyard. Due to restrictions to contain the pandemic, the mosque is closed to visitors and no one was injured.
Speaking to HT, Bukhari said conservation work of the minarets has not been undertaken in nearly 50 years. He said it was crucial for experts to inspect the mosque for repairs.