As the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and the State Archaeology Department document around 150 lesser known monuments in the capital, the project has found encroachments in almost ninety per cent of these sites.
“The documentation work is still underway and it should be complete in a couple of weeks. Around 90 per cent of the sites which have been documented so far have seen encroachments. This is also because these are lesser-known monuments and they do not fall under the protected category. The state department has been informed about the status and nature of these encroachments,” a senior INTACH official said.
Over a course of ten months, INTACH and the State Archaeology Department have been documenting lesser-known monuments. “The idea is to find out whether these buildings need to be protected or not.
Majority of these buildings are in a bad shape. We are helping the state department analyse the state of these monuments,” the official added.
Ranging from occupation by local residents to the property being used to run small businesses, most of these encroachments have been seen in areas such as Mehrauli, Chirag Dilli and Shahjahanbad.
While maintaining that these monuments are not protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the State Archaeology Department, the official stressed on the historical significance of these sites.
An INTACH official said “Maulvi Zafar Hasan had documented these monuments in the 1920s. His report, however, only has text and no photographs. The present documentation work being carried out is based on his survey.”