Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered the District Collector Ravindra Thakare to start beautification of the iconic Zero Mile monument immediately. The High Court order came after the Maha Metro handed over the charge of the historic milestone to the District Collector after it refused to maintain it.
During a hearing, the Collector Thakare informed the division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Ravi Deshpande that as per the High Court directive, all structures/constructions including Metro bogie have been removed from the premises of Zero Mile. The district administration has taken over the milestone. Thakare further informed that the Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to maintain the monument and work would commence in a couple of days. The court then adjourned the hearing till November 25. The bench was hearing a suo motu PIL on neglect of Zero Mile monument by authorities. Kartik Shukul has been appointed as amicus curiae.
“The monument has been lying in neglect for several years. People blame us for it. When you will be starting the maintenance work,” Justice Deshpande had said. The amicus suggested that the structure should be maintained and monitored on a day-to-day basis after which the judges endorsed his stand.
Expressing disappointment over MahaMetro’s failure to look after the monument, a division bench of Justice Deshpande and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala had, on October 28, directed to remove all structures/constructions near the Zero Mile, including Metro bogie, within eight days and construct a wall around it.
In one of the hearings, NMC counsel Gemini Kasat informed the HC that Zero Mile is a Grade-I heritage structure, foundation of which was laid in 1907. A notification in this regard was issued in 2003 by the civic body. Quoting points from the city’s Development Plan, he added that the triangle adjacent to the monument was reserved for park.