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Vanishing heritage

The Jahanpanah Wall, one of the most beautiful heritage sites in Delhi, is on the verge of disappearing, thanks to the negligence of civic agencies, particularly the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

This wall, resembling the Great Wall of China in some detail, was constructed by Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughluq in 1325 and connected four cities of the period— Qila Rai Pithora, Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah, and Siri.

The 100-feet wide and several kilometers long Jahanpanah Wall, which protected Delhi for years from invaders, has unfortunately become the victim of negligence of the ASI, DDA, Delhi police and the MCD, as well as that of the greed of land mafia. Apathy shown by these agencies has encouraged the encroachers and builders.

The only portion of the Jahanpanah Wall that is intact is the Satpula, scientifically built dam opposite Sector VII of Pushp Vihar.

M K Khan, general secretary of the Forum for Indian Heritage and Conservation says, "despite being declared as a protected monument by the ASI, building mafia is breaking this magnificent wall and constructing huge structures right over it."

In response to his PIL, the Delhi High Court served several notices to stop illegal construction and encroachment, but to no avail. The ASI, responsible for its upkeep, declared it a protected monument. To stop encroachment and illegal construction, it lodged complaints with the local police station and the DCP (South).

The ASI, whose duty is to protect monuments, perhaps did not think it fit to approach higher authorities in this regard and preferred to watch silently the destruction of this heritage. 

¯ MG News Desk

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