Metro march steamrolls piece of Mughal past

Sanjeev K Ahuja

Gurgaon, February 6, 2007

A city chasing the blinding glitter of progress has chosen to trample on
its history. The Haryana Urban Development Authority on Monday razed a
monument dating to the Mughal period during a land acquisition drive for
Metro tracks.

All that remains of Dhauli Pyau, a well built for travellers on the
Shahi Rasta in the Mughal era in the 18th century, are mounds of dust
and rubble. The monument was restored by the Indian National Trust for
Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in 1998.

Not too many people in power are apologetic about this destruction of
the past. HUDA officials shrug off the matter by saying that the relic
was not on the list of monuments protected by the Archeological Survey
of India. "The structure was not part of the ASI’s list of protected
monuments. Nor was there any signboard that could have showed us its
historical importance," said HUDA administrator SP Gupta.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation also washed its hand of the matter,
saying that it was HUDA's responsibility to acquire land and transfer it
to DMRC. “Acquiring land and removing encroachments is the
responsibility of the state constituent state, not DMRC,” said Anuj
Dayal, chief spokesperson for DMRC.