Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Tripolia Gate on the GT Karnal Road near Rana Pratap Bagh is one of the many heritage monument in the city that have been lying in dilapidated state. Uncared for by the authorities, this historic gate once stood guarding the entrance to Delhi.
Tripolia Gate, meaning the triple gateway, was built during Mughal period by Nazir Mahaldar Khan in 1728-29. This gateway was built with brick and sandstone layers. However, the peculiarity of this gate is that in Delhi, no other gateway has a triple passage. The only other gateway with more than one passage is the Kashmere Gate.
Of the three passages of Tripolia Gate, only one is open to traffic. The result is not only does this cause massive traffic jams on the GT Karnal Road but the two passages which are closed are slowly being encroached upon by all and sundry. A couple of mechanic shops have come up on the closed parts of the gate on the one side while the other side is being used as a parking lot by visitors to Gur Mandi and R P Bagh market.
For some strange reason, the PWD that is entrusted with the construction and maintenance of this road has increased the height of the road so much that when bigger vehicles like trucks and buises pass through these gates, they brush against the structure damaging it.
And can you believe that all this happening despite the fact that Tripolia Gate is an ASI protected heritage monument!
But ASI throws up its hands in disgust. It says it alone cannot do anything much; the help of local civic authorities, the traffic police and the PWD is needed, and rightly so. It is the municipal corporation that should keep a watch for encroachments by mechanics and use of the gates as a garbage dump, as also the squatters. The traffic police should take care that there is no illegal a parking.
The Senior Citizens Welfare Association (SCWA) of R P Bagh has time and again written to the ASI about the dilapidated state of this protected monument requesting for urgent remedial measures but no action has been forthcoming.