No Possibility Of Any Damage To Gyanvapi Structure In Clearing Debris, Garbage From Mosque Premises: ASI Assures Varanasi Court


The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) today assured the Court of District Judge, Varanasi that no damage will be caused to the Gyanvapi Mosque structure while clearing the debris and garbage from the mosque complex.

The ASI also informed the Court that since garbage and debris in the form of stone slabs, and fallen material have accumulated in and around the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, therefore, it has become indispensable to clear the waste so that a proper scientific investigation of the complex can be undertaken.

The court has directed that the survey should be done of the basements and therefore it is necessary that the soil and debris that has accumulated there should be removed and no damage should be done to the standing figure. The debris is being removed very carefully and properly which is likely to take time,” the counsel for the ASI today submitted before the Court while seeking a further 8 weeks time to complete the survey of the mosque premises.

This assurance was given days after the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (which manages Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque) expressed its apprehension that removing the debris or soil present inside the western barricading of the western wall of Gyanvapi Mosque and collecting the debris by bringing it to another place would be a threat to the building of the mosque and it may collapse due to this.

It may be noted that the ASI is presently conducting a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi as per the July 21 order of the Varanasi District Judge to determine if the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The ASI has already surveyed the premises for around 30 days now.

Taking note of the submissions of the ASI, the Court today granted it a further 4 weeks time to file its report pertaining to the Gyanvapi Survey. Earlier, the Court had asked it to submit its survey report by September 2, however, the ASI last week sought a further 8 weeks time to complete the entire exercise.

In an application moved by the ASI last week, it was stated that it would take some more time for the ASI to submit the report as a lot of trash/debris consisting of garbage, loose soil and building materials are dumped on the floor level in cellars as well as around the structure, covering the original features of the structure, and hence, it was taking time for the ASI to clear the same.

Passing the order on that application today, the Varanasi Court recorded the following submissions made by the ASI before it:

  • The debris (collected in and around the Mosque complex) is being removed very carefully and properly which is likely to take time. Only then the floor of the cellars would be cleaned and the survey proceedings could be proceeded as directed by this Court.
  • The entire premises, cellars and open spaces of the property in question are covered with waste and debris which includes garbage, unusable materials, loose soil and construction materials such as bricks, loose stone slabs and their pieces, fallen materials etc. All these things hinder the work of detailed study and survey.
  • The ASI is making sure that no harm is caused to any structure and it is conducting scientific investigation and survey as per the instructions of the Court and is taking every necessary step so that the instructions of the courts could be complied with.
  • In compliance with the orders of the court, it is necessary to remove the debris and garbage and clean the place to conduct the study and survey. This work of collecting garbage and debris is being done very slowly and properly.
  • ASI has not used digging machines to remove debris and garbage. All the garbage and debris is being collected by hand and removed by hand only. Small household and garden tools like fork trowel, pan, brush etc. are being used, which are generally used to collect domestic waste.
  • The garbage and debris are being collected away from the original structure so there is no possibility of any damage to the structure in question.

In related news, the Varanasi District Court is set to pronounce orders on September 13 on three pleas filed before it seeking various reliefs pertaining to the Gyanvapi Mosque premises, where ASI is presently conducting a court-ordered scientific survey.

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