Heat wave conditions will remain suppressed until May 29-30; congestion, flight delays add to the woes

The Qutub Minar in Delhi (Express File Photo)

After reports emerged on Sunday that the Culture Ministry had ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out excavations at the Qutub Minar in Delhi, ministry officials told the Indian Express that no order of this type had been issued until now. Union Culture Minister GK Reddy also clarified: ‘No such decision has been taken’.

Culture Secretary Govind Mohan visited the monument on Saturday, after which it was reported that ASI had been ordered to carry out excavations to determine whether the UNESCO World Heritage site was built by Qutubuddin Aibak in the 12th century or by the much earlier Gupta Empire. The ministry insisted that this was a regular site visit by its officials and no such decision has been made so far. ASI officials were not available for comment.

A few days ago, former ASI Regional Director Dharamveer Sharma reportedly said that the Qutub Minar was actually a “sun tower” built by Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta Empire in the 5th century.

A day after the Center reduced excise duty on fuel prices, petrol and diesel tariffs in Delhi were reduced by Rs 8.69 per liter and Rs 7.05 per liter respectively. The new prices went into effect from 6 a.m. on Sunday. While petrol and diesel dealers, vehicle owners and taxi associations welcomed the move, taxi and rickshaw unions were unhappy as there was no relief or subsidy on the CNG.

Petrol prices in the city had crossed the 100 rupees (per liter) mark in recent months. Until Saturday, petrol was sold at Rs 105.45 per liter and diesel at Rs 96.71 per litre. After the price cut, petrol now costs Rs 96.76, while diesel costs Rs 89.66 at Hindustan Petroleum pumps and Rs 89.62 per liter at Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum.

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