Tughlaqabad Fort: Glorious past with a mourning present

Despite the legal restriction of not constructing any structure within 100 meter radius of the monument, some houses are constructed which are clearly within this radius. The area is occupied by shop owners, and other small vendors, who have no intention to leave this place. The Supreme Court had also barred in 2003 construction activities around this protected monument.
According to the Arvind Kumar residents have filed a petition in Supreme Court on September 28, 2011 and in October 12 the ASI decided to go ahead with the demolition. However, due to protests, the demolition in this area stopped, but now ASI again sent notices to such violators to demolish their constructions.
When we asked the Director of the monuments, he said that the ASI is following court’s orders. “Issue is under scanner since 1995. ASI got this land after Land Reforms Act, from that time issue is continuing. Last year, when the demolitions were planned, villagers started the protests and went to the High Court and got a stay orders. After that the matter was brought to the Supreme Court’s notice after S N Bhardwaj, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP). Now we are following court’s orders.”
According to the ASI, in the year 1995, total 2,661 bighas of land around Tughlaqabad Fort was handed over to ASI, of which the authorities found that 351 bigha of land was already encroached. In the year 1997, ASI recovered 50 bigha land from the encroachers, but in year 2000, after a survey conducted by ASI, they found encroachment area had extended upto 928 bighas.
Tughlaqabad Fort
Ghiyasu’d-Din Tughluq (1321-25) built the fortified town of Tughluqabad, the third city of Delhi. With its slanting walls on desolate hills, its position gives it a natural advantage, Tughluqabad was raised as a stronghold rather than as an architectural enterprise. It is in two parts, the citadel and palaces along the southern walls forming one unit and the city to the north the other. On plan it is an irregular rectangle with over 6 km. Tughalaq also built Qutub-Badarpur Road, which connected the new city to the Grand Trunk Road. The road is now known as Mehrauli-Badarpur Road.
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