AGRA: The Allahabad high court on Thursday imposed a stay on all sorts of construction works being carried out at ghats of Vrindavan with immediate effect. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Vrindavan resident, MadhumangalSharan Das Shukla, also a senior member of Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance, seeking a stay on construction of a sewer line in the river bed and that of new ghats adjacent to heritage ones. 

According to information, the Uttar Pradesh government, under the Vrindavan rejuvenation project, has proposed "expansion, renovation and beautification" of three kilometre riverfront from Kesi ghat to downstream of river Yamuna. 

Anuruddh Chaturvedi, counsel for the petitioner, appeared before the court and requested it to impose a stay on the ongoing work and that was granted. Now, the matter will come up hearing on November 28. 

Archaeological Survey of India and Nagar Palika, respondents in the case, submitted their replies. ASI stated that it had got an FIR registered against the contractor of UP's irrigation and water resources department in June, 20016 itself for carrying out illegal construction work at this heritage ghat near Jugal Kishore Temple, a centrally protected monument. 

Subsequently, the department also informed its headquarters in Delhi about the matter in August. On September 20, ASI director general wrote to the UP government contractor to remove the unauthorized construction from the Keshi ghat within seven days. A demolition order had also been issued, the ASI added. 

Meanwhile, the court granted more time to Central government and various departments of the state government to file their replies by the next date of hearing. 

On October, when the PIL came up in the court for first hearing, the HC directed the Mathura district administration to ensure that no damage is done to the heritage ghats of Vrindavan

"There are serious allegation in the matter of unauthorized construction/damagedly work on the ancient Ghats at the banks of river Yamuna including its floodplain. We only provide that the district magistrate shall ensure that no uncalled for construction work be raised on the existing Ghats, in any manner," the court had said.