Guwahati, Friday, April 26, 2019
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Century-old mosque minaret shifted to pave way for NH-37
A correspondent

 NAGAON, April 25 - A group of architects led by Gurjit Singh of Haryana-based company named RR and Sons have been working hard for over a week to preserve a heritage structure of the district. They are lifting the historic minaret of a century-old mosque of Puranigudam in Nagaon to a distance of 70 feet from its current position without causing any damage to the structure.

The issue was a cause of worry for residents of Puranigudam irrespective of caste, community and religion, when the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the district administration planned extension of the highway into a four-lane one, and issued a letter to the mosque’s management committee to demolish the minaret which was built very close to NH-37.

The heritage structure was built in 1902. A man named Mastadur Rahman of Puranigudam brought a mason from Dhaka in Bangladesh to construct the two-storeyed minaret.

People of the are left no stone unturned to try to preserve the minaret, a symbol of ancient architecture of the district. However, they could not find a solution and in their helplessness, finally accepted the decision of the authorities. A young architect of Jorhat district informed the people of Puranigudam about the Haryana-based company to mitigate their distress.

A local Muslim organisation, Anjuman E Islamia, approached the company, RR and Sons, and the company officials immediately expressed willingness to work on moving the minaret to a distance of 70 feet from its present position with a highly-modernised hydraulic system.

Architects of the company reached the spot and set up some concrete pillars to fix rail tracks on them. On April 19, the group started to dig out the minaret from the earth surface.

The architects used wheel jacks to lift the minaret from the earth and slowly pushed it onto the rail tracks. Till now, they have been able to push the minaret around 35 feet from its original position and would be able to complete the entire task in a couple of weeks.

It may be mentioned here that the minaret was built with locally available materials like lime powder, duck eggs, raisins, bamboo and betel nut tree parts.

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