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Allahabad High Court Directs UP Govt and Lucknow Municipal Corp to Safeguard Heritage Sites and Address Encroachments in Lucknow

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Published on: 21 September 2023 at 20:27 IST

The Allahabad High Court has issued a directive to both the Uttar Pradesh Government and the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, instructing them to furnish an affidavit detailing the actions they have taken to eliminate encroachments, improve the city’s civic conditions, and safeguard historical monuments in the Lucknow area.

This order was rendered in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by Advocate Syed Mohammad Haider Rizvi, a resident of Lucknow, in 2013. A committee, chaired by the Commissioner of Lucknow Division and convened by the Registrar of the Court in Lucknow, was established by the Court in October 2013. The committee’s purpose was to identify and remove illegal constructions and encroachments to preserve monuments in Lucknow.

Additionally, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted a counter affidavit, noting that 364 sites in Lucknow had been identified. The ASI emphasized that it is primarily the responsibility of the State Government to execute the removal of encroachments and restoration work related to protected monuments, with the ASI serving as a supervising authority.

However, nearly ten years had passed since the committee’s establishment and little information had been presented about its activities and progress, the Court directed the State to file a fresh affidavit in July of this year. This affidavit was expected to provide an update on the committee’s current status, its deliberations, and the actions taken in recent years.

The State was also instructed to outline the measures it had taken to preserve and protect monuments while ensuring they remained free from encroachments.

The Court allowed the State to collaborate with other departments and authorities to effectively carry out these preservation efforts. As of Tuesday, September 18, no such affidavit had been submitted, prompting the Court to instruct the Senior Registrar to provide a report on any meetings held in accordance with the Court’s previous orders within two weeks.

Additionally, the Court ordered the State Government and the Municipal Corporation to submit affidavits outlining the steps taken to address encroachments, improve civic conditions, and protect monuments. The case is scheduled for a hearing during the week beginning October 16.

Case Title: Syed Mohammad Haider Rizvi vs. Union Of India Thr.Secy.Deptt.Of Culture New Delhi And Others