Vrindavan / Allahabad, 2016.10.6 (V.T): The High Court of Allahabad restrained any type of construction on the ancient Ghats of Vrindavan. The Court ordered the District Magistrate of Mathura to ensure that no uncalled for construction is raised on the existing Ghats, in any manner. This order came from the Court while hearing a PIL, which expressed concern over the Chief Minister’s Dream Project of the Yamuna River Front Development in Vrindavan.
A Public Interest Litigation, seeking a stay on the Yamuna River Front Development Project has been filed in the Allahabad High Court by Shri Madhumangal Shukla, on behalf of the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance. The BVHA raised serious objection when the development project was being conceptualized, and gave representations to the District Magistrate and the Divisional Commissioner apart from the officials from the other departments.
While admitting the PIL the High Court issued notices to the 12 respondents including the state of Uttar Pradesh, through its Chief Secretary and the various other departments of the Union and State Government. The Court directed the District Magistrate of Mathura to ensure that no damage is done to the Heritage Ghats on Yamuna, while executing the project.
In its precise order the bench of Hon’ble Justice Shri Arun Tandon and Mrs. Sunita Agarwal said, “All the respondents may obtain instructions and file counter affidavit positively by 20.10.2016 in as much as there are serious allegation in the matter of unauthorized construction / damagedly work on the ancient Ghats at the banks of river Yamuna including its flood plain. We only provide that the District Magistrate shall ensure that no uncalled for construction work be raised on the existing Ghats, in any manner.”
Petitioner’s lawyer Anuruddh Chaturvedi said, “There is an ongoing project of the administration of laying a sewer line and building new ghats on Yamuna banks. A stay on this was sought by the petitioner. During the first hearing in the case on Thursday, the court granted two weeks to respondents to file their replies. Mean while, it directed the Mathura administration to ensure the developmental drive must not affect the heritage ghats of historical and spiritual importance in Vrindavan.”
The state government order of 2000 prohibits constructions within 200 meters from the River Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal restricts anyone to do any construction on the Flood Plains and the National Monument Act of 1959 prohibits constructions within 300 meters radius of an ASI protected monument. The Yamuna riverfront ghats in Vrindavan are a unique ensemble of architectural and cultural heritage that is not only symbolizes Indian culture but is also a unique treasure of humanity.