Cracks in Jama Masjid dome, Imam seeks PM’s help for restoration. The 17th-century mosque, originally named Masjid-i Jahan Numa, is one of the largest in India, built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Its construction was started in 1648 after the completion of Shah Jahanabad. It took six years and cost Rs 10 lakh at the time. It is visited by an average of 5,000 tourists and 1,000 worshippers every day.The iconic Jama Masjid is in urgent need of repair, with parts of its external facade and internal structure crumbling, according to the custodians of the grand 361-year-old mosque in old Delhi. When 65-year-old Mohammad Aslam looks at the large cracks inside the dome of the historic Jama Masjid, his worry appears palpable on his face. “Two years ago, this crack was merely a few inches long and now it is over 15 ft long. If restoration work is not taken up immediately, the dome might give way”, he said while pointing out to the large crack.“Besides several cracks, the plaster is falling off. Some portion of the wall that covers the large dome has already collapsed. The floor is also damaged making it impossible for people to offer Namaz sitting on it”, he said. Shahi Imam said he wrote a letter to PM Modi for the restoration work of the Masjid and he also visited the several times in the office of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and tell them about the situation of damage of Masjid’s dome.ASI spokesperson DM Dimri said that “An estimate has been prepared for restoration of its flooring. The tendering process is going on, the ASI will soon start work at Jama Masjid. As the mosque is not an ASI-protected monument, the responsibility of its regular monitoring and maintenance is not with us.” The responsibility of the management and protection of the mosque lies with the Delhi Wakf Board. “We don’t have enough funds to restore the mosque and always need external assistance for this project,” said an official. Last major renovation was carried out by the ASI around 10 years ago.
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