MCD commissioner asked to submit report on Lal Mahal in 48 hrs

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vijender Gupta today asked ommissioner K S Mehra to initiate a fact-finding inquiry into the pulling down of 1245 AD structure Lal Mahal or Kushaki Lal located near Nizamuddin.

Mr Gupta directed that the inquiry report be placed in the Standing Committee to be held on Friday afternoon.

He said the Commissioner must examine the issue in its entirety which should include the role of private builders, laxity on the part of MCD and Police officials and responsibility of the Archaeological Survey of India.

''It is a serious matter and all heritage monuments must be protected against the greed of builders,'' Mr Gupta said and directed the Commissioner to activate the Heritage Society which could serve as a watchdog for protection of the listed heritage monuments.

At the same time, the Chairman clarified that the monument was not included in the list of about 700 heritage buildings published by it on June 3, 2001 because it was also declared a protected monument by Archaeological Survey of India.

''The list was based on the work done by INTACH. MCD included only those heritage buildings which were not declared protected by the ASI and, therefore, needed protection,'' Mr Gupta said.

Apparently, no permission was taken by the builder from the MCD. It was totally an unauthorised construction against which MCD took action as soon as they came to know of it.

Mr. Gupta said MCD would initiate action against its own officials, if any laxity or connivance was found on their part. He said the MCD would be convening a meeting of the senior officials of Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi Police and other concerned agencies to ensure that this kind of demolition does not take place in future.

He said that MCD was in favour of initiating deterrent action against those responsible for meddling with the Inspector of the monuments. Such people could be fined or sent to jail as per Indian Penal Court under the relevant sections.

The Standing Committee Chairman said the Municipal Corporation of Delhi would provide full support to Archaeological Survey of India to enable it to protect heritage structures within its jurisdiction.


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