The work to restore the final of the historic Jama Masjid here is almost complete and the over 950-kg structure has been fixed atop the mosque's main dome from where it got dislodged during a thunderstorm, Delhi Waqf Board members said on Friday.
The repair was carried out by an Agra-based heritage conservation group of a former engineer and staff of the Archaeological Survey of India at a cost of over Rs 15 lakh, they said. "It was a very delicate and tiring work to fix the finial back on the top of the main dome as it weighed over 950 kg. The experienced former engineer of ASI carried out the repair work over several weeks," said a Delhi Waqf Board member.
Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amantullah Khan said the total expense for the repair was met through contributions from the people and no government money was involved. "We did it together with other devouts and people who wanted the historic mosque to be repaired and brought to its old glorious form," Khan said. The finial (also known as 'Kalas') had broken off during a thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rain in May and the over 350-year-old mosque built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan suffered other damage as well.
The finial measures up to 12-15 feet. It is made of various metals, including copper, gold, silver, and brass. It was the first time that the finial was separated from the main tomb since the mosque was constructed in mid-1600 AD, Delhi Waqf Board members said. Khan said the mosque also requires extensive repairs. The last time repair work was undertaken was in 1954, they said.
The Waqf Board has asked the Agra-based group for an estimate of thorough repairs of the mosque situated close to the Red Fort. "It is expected to cost around Rs 35-40 crore for a complete repair of the entire structure. We will try to do it after the experts provide us with details," Khan said. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari had last year written to the prime minister, urging his intervention in carrying out repairs of the mosque and its minarets.