HC notice to state authorities for leasing out of Jal mahal

Jaipur, Feb 24 (PTI) Rajasthan High Court today issued ashow cause notice to state authorities on alleged illegalleasing out of Mansagar lake and Jal Mahal located in themiddle of it, for construction of a hotel.

A division bench of the high court comprising JusticeArun Mishra and Justice R S Rathore issued the notice to thestate Chief Secretary, senior officials of Jaipur DevelopmentAuthority and other government functionaries on a PIL filed byan NGO alleging that the lake and monument had been leased outillegally for the construction of a seven-star hotel.

It was brought to the notice of the court that theheritage old building of Jal Mahal is a key monument of Jaipursituated in the midst of Mansagar lake.

"Both the lake and the Jalmahal were previously declaredprotected monument on September 23, 1965 and subsequently dueto ulterior reasons the same were denotified on November 18,1971.

Both the lake and Jalmahal were then handed over toJaipur Municipal corportation (JMC) and now a major portion ofthe lake has been parted with for the construction of a sevenstar hotel which is illegal," alleges the petition.

The KGK consortium has illegally obtained the tender andthe water bodies cannot be alineated by the state government,the PIL said.

"The lake is a water reserve and the cannot be leased outunder the law.

Further it was mandatory for the JMC to have taken aresolution in general house before parting with a propertyunder its possession by way of lease or otherwise which wasnot done in this case," said Ajay Kumar Jain counsel forDharohar Bachao Samiti, the NGO which has filed the petition.

Citing an earlier high court order that the catchmentareas of lakes and water reserves in Rajasthan should berestored, the PIL said, in case of Jalmahal the proposedconstruction for over 55,000 sq mtrs using lake water will notonly squeez the available catchment area but also causeadverse effect on the ecology and heritage look of the site.

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