In 2014, too, a few shopkeepers in the area and other stakeholders had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court objecting to a similar plan ....
NEW DELHI: The plan to give a makeover to the Jama Masjid area has once again run into fresh trouble. This time it is the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, who has objected to the redevelopment plan submitted to the Delhi government.Bukhari recently wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal opposing the proposal that seeks to ‘redevelop’ the Jama Masjid area along with the relocating of the iconic Meena Bazar,citing “lack of understanding of the religious process”.
“The Jama Masjid Precinct Redevelopment Plan, proposed by the private architecture consultant appointed by PWD (Public Works Department), offers no solution to the real issues. Rather, it would unnecessarily displace Meena Bazaar shopkeepers, which would lead to more chaotic situation and congestion,” Bukhari said in his letter to Baijal. He further stated that the plan “will be affecting adversely the visits for prayers in Jama Masjid, business of Meena Bazaar and tourism”.
The nearly one-and-a-half decade old plan got a new lease of life last December when the Shajahanbad Re-development Corporation (SRDC), a special body constituted to plan and execute the redevelopment of Old Delhi, submitted a plan prepared by private consultant Pradeep Sachdeva to the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) for review. Sachdeva was appointed by the North MCD in 2016.The proposal involves relocating the Meena Bazaar to a nearby area. The Shahi Imam has opposed this, apart from some other suggestions, of the plan submitted.
In 2014, too, a few shopkeepers in the area and other stakeholders had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court objecting to a similar plan of redevelopment of the Jama Masjid area. After regular hearing in the case, the petitioners and the agencies involved, including the SRDC, the North MCD and the PWD came to an agreement and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) was finalised in December 2017.
The court then ordered the PWD to send the proposal to SPA for comments. The SPA stated in its response to the three agencies that the implementing agencies should hold consultations with the major stakeholders and do an impact assessment of the plan on the people living and running businesses in the area. Rampant encroachments and unbridled illegal constructions around the 360-year-old monument have been on the radar of the authorities for a long time.