Acting swiftly to the orders issued by Nagpur bench of Bombay high court two days back, which blasted respondents for pitiable conditions of Kasturchand Park, MahaMetro contractors and workers not only cleared material strewn around in their allotted area, but also from the LIC Square corner.
On Monday, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court observed that MahaMetro’s ongoing work had caused extensive damage to the appearance, texture and landscape of Kasturchand Park. “It appears that a lot of construction debris is being recklessly dumped on the historic ground without having any remorse for it or any concern for the safety, security and its beauty,” a division bench comprising justices Sunil Shukre and Nitin Suryawanshi had said.
Citing “disturbing” photographs in media reports, the bench said those depict pitiable state of affairs of the entire ground. “The monument and entire park is a declared heritage structure-cum-ground of Nagpur, and yet it is being neglected by the authorities.”
While adding MahaMetro as respondent in the PIL, the judges directed other respondents to remove all the debris from the ground, level it, and fill up pits and trenches laid out for drainage lines within two weeks.
The High Court had directed respondents to immediately erect fencing of sturdy nature along the ground’s boundary in consultation with the heritage conservation committee, and subject to its approval. Fill up pits and trenches laid out for drainage lines, and level the ground. MahaMetro should erect fencing on the entire portion of land allotted to it by the collector Judges had said.
The respondents were further told to submit the photographs of Kasturchand Park taken from different angles and spots after making compliance, so that the HC as well as all the parties could visualize the actual position with respect to the compliance of orders.
A MahaMetro spokesperson said construction material like granite, CC blocks and sand, just outside the barricades were already removed from the ground by the contractor about 15 days back. “The debris dumped by others and not related to metro work has been removed, as directed by the collector. The scrap material adjacent to the barricades has also been cleared,” he said. The spokesperson said the metro work portion in ground was enclosed with continuous barricading.
“In connection with erection of I-girder of station central viaduct, the approval for compound wall demolition of 23m length was sought from the concerned authority. The wall along with grill work has been reconstructed and completed,” he said.
Based on media reports on continuing encroachment by squatters inside the dome, a heritage structure, the HC had taken suo motu cognisance and directed municipal and police commissioners to come up with an explanation on the issue. They were also told to remove all encroachments in and around the historic ground.
“The media report presents a disturbing and dismal picture of Kasturchand Park ground and old structure. It indicates that the pavilion there is under illegal occupation of squatters and a major portion of the ground is in a shambles. The HC can’t remain a silent spectator to this brazen misuse,” the HC had tersely observed.