‘AMC is Damaging a National Monument To Lay Drainage Lines’

This construction work is at only 12 metres’ distance from a national monument, violating ASI guidelines.

My Report
2 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
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Aastha Gulati

The Small Stone Mosque in Ahmedabad’s Paldi is a 16th-century mosque and is considered a monument of national importance. Within twelve metres of this monument, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is undertaking construction for the last four months. Machines and bulldozers belonging to the AMC have been present at the site a long time to lay drainage lines in the Paldi area.

This construction work is at only 12 metres' distance from a national monument, thereby in violation of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act. These are also the rules followed by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Ongoing construction work in Paldi. 
Ongoing construction work in Paldi. 
(Photo Courtesy: Munaf Ahmed)

To stop AMC’s illegal activity, I filed a petition in April 2019 in the Gujarat High Court. The hearing in the matter is ongoing.

The AMC has told the HC that laying drainage lines falls under its essential services and does not fall under construction work.

Ahmedabad city was the first to be declared a heritage site by the UNESCO. Since then, however, I feel the AMC and ASI have consistently failed to protect and secure our national monuments. Illegal construction near Brick Minars behind Kalupur Railway Station is another case in point.

I had previously written about it on The Quint but construction still continues. Despite a PIL being filed against the DRM Ahmedabad and ASI for illegally destroying these historic and heritage pillars, construction was started by the Railways in February 2018.

In both cases, construction was within 100 metres of a national monument, which is the prohibited limit, and thus illegal. Unfortunately, neither the AMC nor the Railways have paid any heed to these guidelines.

Inside the Small Stone Mosque.
Inside the Small Stone Mosque.
(Photo Courtesy: Munaf Ahmed)

It remains to be seen to what extent government bodies are conserving the nation’s heritage – a responsibility they are entrusted with.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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