Supreme Court issues interim order to halt construction works at Pashupati area

- Sanjaya Lama, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2019-

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order directing the government to stop the construction works on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple against the law and standard practice.

A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the order in the name of the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation, Secretary at the Tourism Ministry, Land Revenue Office, Chabahil, Ministry of Land Reforms and Management, Pashupati Area Development Trust, Road Division Office, Department of Archeology, Ministry of Forest and Environment, Department of Forest, National Reconstruction Authority, and Kathmandu Metropolitan City highlighting the sensitivity and public importance.

Advocate Deepak Bikram Mishra had lodged a public interest litigation demanding the government halt the ongoing illegal construction works on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple.

The court has summoned both the petitioner and defendants on February 6 to resolve the issue by holding discussions.

Read: PADT draws flak for demolishing Shivalaya

The writ argued that the ongoing construction works have been hampering environment and ecology of the area and devalue the dignity of the ancient monument that has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Reckless digging of road at Sleshmantak forest corridor, and haphazardly littered garbage in the area have degraded temple’s originality,” the writ states.

The Pashupati Development Trust has laid concrete pavement at the Sleshmantak jungle corridor against the Ancient Monument Preservation Act 2013 and norms of World Heritage. The construction has affected the environment, the writ states.

The Pashupati Development Trust has blatantly used PCC binding construction materials composed of cement in the 170-metre pavement that leads to the Bishworup temple from the main walkway through the Sleshmantak jungle.

Heritage lovers and archeologists have been arguing that the construction would affect the Mrigasthali area.

The Pashupati Development Trust has been saying that the construction of road would make the movement easy for public in Mrigasthali area.

Earlier on September 6, the Department of Archaeology had asked the Pashupati Area Development Trust to remove the concrete pavement from the Sleshmantak jungle corridor.

The department had sent a letter to the trust in the wake of widespread criticism from the public and cultural experts.

The trust had awarded Rs2.9 million contract to Dharma Yes Nirmad Sewa to build the pavement for waling inside Sleshmantak jungle.

In December, the Pashupati Development Trust had come under fire for allowing concrete materials to rebuild the Jay Bageshwori temple that was damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Five months earlier, the PADT had also courted controversy for demolishing one of the four Shivalayas on the premises of the Pashupatinath temple.





Published: 30-01-2019 20:28

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