Published On : Wed, Jul 3rd, 2024

Nagpur HC Orders State Government to Halt Political Events at Zero Mile, Ensures Heritage Protection

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Nagpur: The Zero Mile marker, a Grade-1 historical heritage site, has come under scrutiny by the Nagpur High Court. The court, taking suo motu cognizance, converted the matter into a public interest litigation (PIL). During the hearing on Wednesday, the court expressed concerns over the site’s neglect and the lack of security personnel, despite its historical significance.

The court noted that various events, including political gatherings, are frequently held at Zero Mile, compromising its preservation. Consequently, the court ordered the Public Works Department (PWD) to cease such activities and appoint security guards to protect the site. The court emphasized that under Article 51A of the Constitution, the protection and funding of historical heritage sites are government responsibilities.

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Advocates Karthik Sukul, acting as amicus curiae, and Jaemini Kast representing the municipal corporation, presented their arguments. During the hearing, the state government assured the court that a heritage committee would be formed by July 14.

The court was informed about the lack of funds hindering the development of Zero Mile. The PWD had previously proposed a budget of INR 2.7 million to the District Collector for the site’s development, but no decision had been made yet. The District Collector’s representative assured that funds would be allocated within 15 days.

The municipal corporation revealed that a proposal for the reconstitution of the heritage committee was sent to the state government in 2020, but no action had been taken. The court noted that multiple orders had been issued to the government on November 25, 2020, January 13, 2021, February 22, 2021, and February 25, 2021, emphasizing the urgency of the matter.

Post-hearing, the court reiterated that it is the responsibility of the government or the District Collector to provide funds for the beautification and maintenance of the site. However, no accountability had been demonstrated. The Additional Government Pleader informed the court that the PWD’s executive and superintendent engineers had already proposed the required funds to the District Collector.

The court has directed the administration to comply with the orders and submit a compliance report.