Feb. 26: Gauhati High Court today issued showcause notices to chief secretary Naba Kumar Das, the GMC and the GMDA regarding alleged construction of a temple at a public place on AT Road.
The court of Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel issued the notices after it took suo moto cognisance of a letter written by Deenesh Sharma, a resident of Bharalumukh, recently and registered a suo moto public interest litigation (PIL).
In the letter which he had written on behalf of residents of Bharalumukh and Kumarpara and submitted to Chief Justice Goel on February 12, Sharma complained that construction and expansion of a Shani temple were causing inconveniences to people on the streets and had also affected flow of traffic.
Sharma complained to the Chief Justice that the temple was constructed nearly six months ago by some people of the locality and it was being expanded by them in violation of the norms.
“There is no norm that permits construction of a temple or a religious centre, encroaching on the property belonging to others or on public land. The temple covered an area of 6 square feet when it was constructed but now is being expanded and an RCC building is being constructed in the commercial area. This will create traffic problem and affect the residents of Bharalumukh, Kumarpara and other adjoining areas,” the letter said.
It also mentioned that it was violation of a Supreme Court order in 2009 which upheld an order of Gujarat High Court in 2006 which ordered demolition of religious centres constructed on pavements affecting public.
Based on the letter, the court registered the PIL (24/2013) and during hearing of the case today asked the GMC, GMDA and the chief secretary to submit affidavits regarding construction of the temple at AT Road.
The court fixed March 15 as the next date of hearing of the PIL.
The Kamrup (metro) district administration last week launched a drive to remove all religious institutions which were constructed on pavements and block public thoroughfares. A team of the district administration assisted by GMC workers demolished three temples constructed on pavements at Bharalumukh and Bishnupur. Sources said a drive was on to remove all such structures.
The administration had issued a public notice in November urging the city’s residents to remove temples or religious structures constructed by roadsides or on pavements. When people failed to comply, the administration launched the drive.
According to a survey conducted by the district administration and the GMC, many small temples have been constructed by roadsides and on pavements, creating problems for pedestrians. Most of these have been constructed in Athgaon, Bharalumukh, Panbazar, Maligaon and Ganeshguri.