Monday, 6 December, 2021
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Attempt to repair Jama Masjid dome after rains leaves cement patches

Repairs on the northern dome of the Jama Masjid have left little patches of cement at its base. After cracks developed throughout heavy rains, the mosque’s administration employed staff to make use of cement — however solely after they wrote to the Centre requesting that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) conduct restoration work.

“We’ve got been writing to the ASI however didn’t get a correct response. We needed to take non permanent measures solely so as to save the monument,” stated Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, including that the cracks had developed because of seepage points and wanted pressing restore.

An ASI official stated that since Jama Masjid just isn’t a protected monument, the restoration doesn’t come beneath their purview. They will accomplish that solely in particular instances upon request and no such official request has been obtained by them, the official stated. However the masjid administration claims that beforehand, the ASI used to revive elements of the Jama Masjid as and when required.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, dated June 6, 2021, the Imam wrote, “The construction of the internationally famend Jama Masjid Delhi is in dire want of repairs. As a particular case, its repairs had been carried out, on occasion, by the ASI, since 1956.” The letter acknowledged that stones of the construction hold falling off. He requested the ASI to examine the monument and start repairs.

The administration additionally stated the ASI had carried out a survey after this letter and a finances was made. However regardless of a number of telephonic conversations, issues didn’t transfer ahead.

Historian Dr Swapna Liddle stated, “It’s crucial that limestone mortar be used for a constructing that initially used limestone mortar… It could possibly be fastened by eradicating the cement.” Nevertheless, she added that long-term options must be devised similar to arising with an in depth programme to preserve the monument. She stated that even the purple sandstone slabs are flaking and must be changed.

Heritage activist and historian Sohail Hashmi additionally threw gentle on the necessity to use limestone mortar for such monuments: “Traditionally, notably within the medieval instances, a mixture of hydrated limestone and crushed bricks was used as a binding materials. Whereas it used to take longer to dry than cement, it turns into bone dry therefore, after rain, it’ll dry up fully whereas cement is not going to.”

He stated that for the reason that cement and limestone mortar react in another way, it’d trigger extra destruction in the long term. The Sher Shah Gate is an occasion of this, he added. Earlier than Independence, ASI used cement to revive the monument and it was later virtually on the breaking point. He stated the one solution to repair it’s to scrape off the cement and use limestone mortar as a substitute.

(Inputs from Divya A)

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