HC order to remove all illegal constructions

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Mumbai, Oct 3 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to remove illegal constructions, falling within the prohibited zone around all protected monuments in the state.

The court has also directed the state government to provide all logistic support to ASI in this regard.

A division bench comprising Justices J N Patel and Justice Amjad Sayyad directed the state Home, Revenue and Urban Development Departments to issue directions to their respective officers and local self government bodies to provide all required support to the ASI to undertake action against illegal constructions.

The court has restrained the state from declaring any unauthorised hutments, which fall within prohibited areas around the protected monuments --within 100 meters from the monuments, as 'slums' and further asked the state to reconsider such earlier slum declarations around ancient caves in Mumbai.

The judges also ordered the state government to issue circular to all concerned companies and local self government bodies, not to provide basic facilities like water, electricity, roads and drainage. The ASI has been asked to file, within eight weeks, action taken report persuant to today's order.

These directions came on a public interest litigation filed by Janhit Manch seeking to preserve and safeguard Jogeshwari, Kanheri, Mahakali and Mandapeshwar caves in Mumbai from menace of illegal enchroachments.

During earlier hearing in the matter, the court had observed that state's policy to protect slums upto January 1, 2000 could not overwrite a central enactment like Ancient Monuments and Archaelogical Sites and Remains Act, that protects monuments of archaelogical importance.


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