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UP: SC permits temporary construction in Ambedkar park

Source: PTI
April 08, 2008 19:38 IST
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the decks for the UP government to organise the birth centenary celebrations of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on April 14 in a Lucknow park on the condition that no permanent construction shall be carried out in it.

The apex court said there should not be any "hindrance" in holding the Ambedkar Jayanti function and temporary construction and renovation could be carried out by the state in Ambedkar Park.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan warned the state government against carrying out any permanent construction saying that the matter was pending before the Allahabad high court.

The Uttar Pradesh government had approached the apex court against an order of the high court restraining it from carrying out construction works at the Ambedkar Park maintaining that the area falls under the green belt.

The high court on Friday had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to maintain status quo on construction activities as part of preparations for the Ambedkar Jayanti.

After changing the land use of 35 acres area of Bhim Rao Ambedkar park, the state government had started construction activities for setting up the Kanshi Ram Research Institute in the area.

However, the high court had noted that "it is a sorry state of affairs that the state has proceeded to issue notices for change of land use in spite of the fact that the interim orders were passed by this court and authorities are aware of the orders."

The high court had asked the authorities to place before it the records related to change of land use and had sought the presence of principal secretary or an officer of the rank of secretary and vice chairman of Lucknow Development Authority before it.

Senior advocates Harish Salve and S C Mishra, who mentioned the matter for the Mayawati government, said the structures have been existing in the park located at Gomati Nagar in Lucknow since 1997 and by mistake the area was declared as a green belt.

Later, an amendment was incorporated in the Lucknow Master Plan through February 6 and March 11 notifications on the land use.

They said state government was undertaking an exercise for completion of all renovations and modifications at the park.

However, advocate D K Garg, appearing for Gomti Nagar Jan Kalyan Maha Samiti, alleged that under the garb of renovation work something else was done in the park.

The court said at this stage it would not dwell on any submission and posted the matter for hearing on April 21.

The high court had passed the interim order on a PIL filed by the Samiti challenging the authorities' decision to change the park's land use.

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