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Delhi High Court orders removal of ‘religious encroachment’ on Chandni Chowk road


HCa____

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered removal of a religious structure on Chandni Chowk main road, which was declared as ‘encroachment’ in government’s report on the northern carriageway of the heritage market.

The court set aside the decision of the Religious Committee of the Delhi government recommending integration of the building in the area’s beautification and redevelopment plan.  

Pulling up the authorities including the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for the holdup, a bench of justices S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh asked the government to ensure that its order is implemented in eight weeks.

The next date of hearing in the matter is January 13. 

The court was particularly annoyed with the committee for taking a U-turn in the matter as earlier it had recommended removal of the structure.

The government, during a previous hearing, cited law and order as one reason to retain the edifice, causing hindrance in redevelopment work, and only suggested dismantling of a platform (chabutra) around it.

On the directions of the court, the matter- religious encroachment- was referred to the religious committee chaired by the L-G for scrutiny on October 16. 

Senior officials of the Delhi government said that considering the decision of the panel, Pradeep Sachdeva, consultant architect for the redevelopment project was asked to submit drawings integrating the religious structure with the original plan.

“The committee held three meetings and finally it was decided that the structure in question may be allowed to exist at the present site after dismantling the platform (chabutra) existing around it. It may be made an integral part of the beautification and redevelopment of Chandni Chowk. The court was also informed about the development in the last hearing, “ said an official.

According to stakeholders associated with the project, the structure was declared an encroachment in 2015 and the court had already issued directions for its removal then. The redevelopment project began in December 2018.

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