Udit Prakash Rai, a 2007 batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, who is currently posted in Mizoram, allegedly ordered the demolition of the monument with the help of Jal Board’s engineers and construction of his official residence.
A senior IAS officer has been issued a notice over alleged demolition of a 15th-century monument in Delhi for the construction of an official accommodation during his tenure as Delhi Jal Board (DJB)’s chief executive officer. Udit Prakash Rai, a 2007 batch IAS officer, who is currently posted in Mizoram, allegedly misused his power and ordered the demolition of the historical monument with the help of Jal Board’s engineers and construction of his official residence.
Rai and five DJB engineers have been served show cause notice by the Vigilance Department of the Delhi government. They have been asked to respond to the Vigilance notice within two weeks.
The monument – a palace of the Pathan period – is the only remnant of the Khizrabad city founded by Khizr Khan of the Sayyid dynasty. It was located at Jal Vihar area near Lajpat Nagar in southeast Delhi. Presently, IAS officer’s family is living in the bungalow despite notices to vacate it.
Monument was to be handed over to ASI
The monument was to be handed over to the Archaeology Survey of India (ASI) by the Delhi Jal Board but the ASI department and DJB in January this year found it missing, said the vigilance department’s notice issued on Wednesday.
Citing notes of DJB officials, the notice mentioned that the monument was in a dilapidated state and was to be handed over to the archaeology department for immediate intervention in January 2021. The Vigilance Department alleged that Udit Prakash Rai had prevented the handover.
“By his (Udit Prakash Rai) commissions and omissions, the officer actively facilitated the demolition of the ancient monument and prevented the same from getting handed over to the archaeology department for its protection,” the notice claimed.
The monument, mentioned in the ASI list of ‘Muhammadan and Hindu monuments’ of Delhi, comprised a palace (mahal) and a gateway that still exists while the former was gone, said the notice.
Political row over demolition of monument
Several political parties, including the BJP and Trinamool Congress, have demanded action over the demolition of the monument. Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva, in a letter to the Delhi LG, called for a high-level probe.
“Only in India. Fifteenth-century monument demolished to construct govt officer’s bungalow. Are the Archaeological Survey of India and Ministry of Culture napping yet again? Urging G Kishan Reddy (Union Minister For Culture and Tourism) to look at this,” TMC MP Mahua Moitra said in a tweet.
Source: Times Now
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