HC allows work on police memorial
Press Trust of India

New Delhi, October 11: THE Delhi High Court today went back on its stay on
construction of the police memorial and allowed Central Public Works
Department (CPWD) to go ahead with the beautification of the project area.

Justice Vikramajit Sen, who had on July 22, stayed construction of the
15-feet high steel structure spread over 6.5 acres at Shantipath-Kautilya
Marg intersection in Chanakyapuri diplomatic zone, modified his order
after the CPWD moved an application for vacating the interim order.

The modification order followed government counsel Rajive Mehra’s
submission that horticultural activities would only beautify the area and
could not be harmful in any way.

The CPWD had urged the court to completely vacate its interim order on the
ground that the structure does not fall under the Lutyen’s Bungalow Zone
as claimed by the plaintiffs and had been approved by all agencies

Meanwhile, Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) secretary Dina Nath has
filed an affidavit before the court in support of the CPWD’s plea. It will
come up for hearing on October 14.

The project was cleared on February 2003 and DUAC had observed that an
architect of repute had to be involved in the project, Nath submitted in
the affidavit.

The stay order was passed on a suit filed by eminent journalist B.G.
Verghese, social activist Anita Vikram Lal among others.

Court stays construction of Police Memorial
By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, JULY 22. The Delhi High Court today stayed construction of
the Police Memorial at Chankyapuri in the heart of the Capital on a suit
filed by six prominent citizens of the city.

Staying the construction till further orders, Justice Vikramjit Sen also
issued notices to the Union Government, Central Public Works Department
(COWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi Municipal Council
(NDMC), Delhi Urban Art Commission and others and fixed October 11 at
the next date for further hearing.

Challenging the construction of the 150-feet high steel structure as
part of the Memorial near the Shantipath-Kautilya Marg intersection, the
plaintiffs-- senior journalist B.G. Verghese, social activist Anita
Vikram Lal, senior citizen A.N. Mishra, secretary-general of the
Heritage Society of Delhi, Trilochan Singh, senior arichtect and
structural engineer Mahendra Raj, and art historian Dr. Shobita Punja--
urged the Court to direct the respondents to dismantle or remove the
structure from the present site. The suit said that the four of the
plaintiffs-- Mr. Verghese, Ms. Anita Vikram Lal, Mr. A.N. Mishra and Mr.
Trilochan Singh are staying near the site and are among the persons who
are directly affected by the construction of the structure.

The plaintiffs submitted that the enormous height of the steel structure
would impinge on the glory of Rashtrapati Bhavan and completely block
the view of its dome from Shantipath, which is the main approach to the
city via the diplomatic enclave.

They further submitted that the steel structure would also undermine the
status of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The suit says the erection of the structure is totally out of context
and out of sync with the aesthetic, architectural and historical
character of Lutyens' Delhi. It further said that the structure is
obtrusive on account of its massive proportion and does not blend with
the vista of the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone.

It further says that the construction of the steel structure was
approved without considering the unique and distinctive character of
Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, South Block, North Block, India
Gate the canopy near it.

The plaintiffs stated that the Union Government, CPWD, NDMC, and Delhi
Urban Art Commission had bypassed and ignored the recommendations of the
Committee constituted by the Union Urban Development Ministry under M.N.
Buch to review the situation in the New Delhi area, and in particular in
the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone.

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