Calcutta High Court on Thursday set up a five-member core committee to implement recommendations of the 14-man expert committee on improving the structural and environmental conditions of Victoria Memorial.
The committee consists of officials from the Memorial, the Archaeological Survey of India, Calcutta Police and the state pollution control board, along with green activist Subhas Dutta.
A division bench, comprising Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice S. Sen, directed the Memorial authorities to convene the first meeting of the core committee on March 25, 2004, at 11 am, and file a report in court on the next date of hearing, April 19.
The 14-member expert committee appointed by the court had submitted a report last week, recommending an 11-point programme to maintain the historic structure and improve the environmental condition of the area around it.
The recommendations of the expert committee included:-
• A reasonable entry fee be charged to enter the compound
• No hawkers be allowed within 50 metres of the complex
• Strict fines be imposed for littering, spitting, smoking, use of plastic carry-bags and even consumption of food on the premises
• Steps be taken to clean premises, and maintain the sewerage and drainage lines
• Parking of vehicles on all sides be stopped
• Traffic jams be prevented in the vicinity to decrease vehicular pollution
• Leaves not to be burnt in the compound or near the Memorial
• An expert committee be constituted for restoration of the heritage building, and
• Facilities for amusement and recreation be installed.
Police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty submitted a report in court stating that he had issued an order asking private bus-owners not to park their vehicles close to the Memorial compound.
Counsel on behalf of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) assured the court that the utility would vacate the adjoining grounds on the eastern and southern sides of the Memorial by March 31.
The zone had been damaged due to the dumping of material during construction of the AJC Bose Road flyover, under the aegis of the HRBC.