On Monday, the Delhi High Court has instructed and directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), along with the municipal authorities and the Delhi Police to put a stop to the unauthorized construction and encroachment in the walled city area of old Delhi and Jama Masjid.
Notices were issued on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed to highlight the encroachment near the Jama Masjid area and walled city of old Delhi by the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla. The Court has directed the respondents to file their replies within three weeks. The case will be heard next on July 14.
The PIL was filed by the chairman of the Civilian Welfare Charitable Trust who alleged a haphazard construction has been going in and around the Jama without adherence to norms, causing a great amount of air pollution.
The Plea said,“The petition reflects the inaction or non-action on the part of the Archeological Survey of India, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Short as INTACH) ,North Delhi Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central District) officials for failing in its duty to put an end to the unauthorized or illegal construction in the surrounding of respective Monuments of our Country as well as Heritage Building declared by the concerned authorities/departments in area of Jama Masjid,, Turkman Gate, Kashmiri gate, Ajmeri Gate.
As per the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR), it is important to preserve, conserve, protect and maintain the monuments, archaeological sites and their surrounding areas up to a distance of 300 meters and no construction or reconstruction is permitted in an area of up to a distance of 100 meters.
Despite these provisions, the plea points out that unauthorized construction has been going on around the outer walls of the Jama Masjid and has to be stopped.
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