Delhi : High Court orders to demarcate the boundaries of Tughlakabad fort area in the capital

New Delhi, Oct 26 :  The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the SDM of Kalkaji, in south Delhi, to demarcate the boundaries of Tughlakabad fort area in the capital as it existed in 1993, to guard against further encroachment of the historical site.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar directed that the demarcation of the fort should be done as per a 1993 Aerial Survey Map of the area.

Giving six weeks for the process, the court asked the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to carry out demarcation through Total Station Method by super-imposing the present status on the 1993 Aerial Survey Map.

The court was hearing two petitions filed in public interest by local resident S.N. Bhardwaj and ‘Gram Vikas Sangathan’ alleging inaction by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to protect, maintain and preserve the Tughlakabad Fort.

During the previous hearing, the court had taken a strong view of the inability expressed by the ASI to stop encroachments.

The Tughlakabad fort, declared a protected monument, is under the protection of the ASI since 1995. But, over the years, various illegal occupants have entered the fort premises and constructed their dwellings there.

Tughlaqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi, stretching over 6 km, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate of India in 1321, as he established the third historic city of Delhi, which was later abandoned in 1327. It lends its name to the nearby Tughlaqabad residential-commercial area as well as the Tughlaqabad Institutional Area. Tughlaq also built Qutub-Badarpur Road, which connected the new city to the Grand Trunk Road.

Tughluqabad still consists of remarkable, massive stone fortifications that surround the irregular ground plan of the city. The sloping rubble-filled city walls, a typical feature of monuments of the Tughluq dynasty, are between 10 and 15 meters high, topped by battlemented parapets and strengthened by circular bastions of up to two stories height. The city is supposed to once have had as many as 52 gates of which only 13 remain today. The fortified city contained seven rainwater tanks.

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