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Regulated and prohibited areas of Mumbai caves to be demarcated: HC

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, June 28 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed the Mumbai Suburban Development Collector to complete the demarcation of prohibited and regulated areas within six weeks for resolving the problems threatening the ancient cave temples and complexes across Mumbai.

A division bench comprising Justices R M Lodha and A S Bagga also directed the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India to be present at the next hearing in case the demarcation work was not completed within the stipulated period.

The High Court had passed the same directions to ASI and Municipal Council of Greater Mumbai earlier based on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a non-governmental organisation Janhit Manch, prompted by a series of Newsline reports in March 2004 highlighting the neglect of the ancient cave temples at Mahakali (Andheri), Mandapeshwar and Kanheri (Borivali), Jogeshwari.

However, the court was told that the right authority to carry out the task would be the Collector and the said directions were passed.

The court was also told that all the construction activity going on in the prohibited and regulated areas had been stopped after the MCGM recieved a notice from ASI.

The caves will be demarcated as per ASI guidelines --'100 metres from the caves will be a prohibited area, another 200 metres will be regulated areas'.

While constructions within prohibited areas is absolutely illegal, the ASI has the authority to take a decision on any kind of encroachments or constructions in the regulated zones.

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