The provincial government has decided to demolish 40 shops around the historic Masjid Mahabat Khan in order to restore the building to its original shape.
Talking to The Express Tribune official sources said that the Archaeology Department has been working on the renovation of the historic Mughal-era mosque which is situated inside the old walled city.
“The Archaeology Department is working on the restoration and renovation of the mosque but the real hindrance is the shops constructed in the past few decades around the mosque. These shops have not only affected the real beauty of the building but also are a main hurdle in the renovation of all parts of the mosque,” said the officials.
They added that the provincial government had allocated more than Rs80 million for the purpose of renovation.
“The removal of encroachments on permanent basis is the only way out. These shops have been constructed illegally which have been rented to local traders. These shops are not included in the original map of the mosque,” they said, adding that in the past it had been decided to demolish all these shops but MNA Haji Shaukat Ali stopped working on the project.
“Now these 40 shops have been declared illegal encroachments and these structures will be demolished. The Deputy Commissioner has been informed about it. The removal of these shops was a project started back in 2018 but it is yet to be completed successfully,” they said, adding that MNA Ali will be taken into confidence before the start of the demolition job.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2021.
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