Nagpur: Sheetla Mata and Hanuman temples situated on the road towards Khamla are the major religious structures that have been enlisted among 250 such shrines that are creating major hurdle in smooth flow of traffic. Even on Thursday night, the demolition of Sheetla Mata temple was on, as witnessed by Nagpur Today.
The fresh NMC move came after Nagpur bench of Bombay high court’s ordered NMC to prepare fresh list of illegal religious structures. A list of newly added structures would be submitted in the HC during hearing on Friday.
It may be mentioned that on Wednesday a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Sunil Shukre had quashed the old list of over 1,500 structures prepared by NMC and NIT in 2014. The Justice duo directed the civic bodies to prepare a fresh list, invite objections, and grant them hearing before demolishing them. A vigilant citizen, SN Deshpande, also wrote a letter to NMC commissioner Virendra Singh, government pleader Sumant Deopujari and petitioner’s counsel Firdos Mirza, pointing out omission of several structures from the NMC/NIT lists, which are on public streets/roads and footpaths.
He claimed that the civic officials acted under pressure of local politicians while preparing the old list and deliberately dropped many of these shrines. He specifically named Sheetla Mata and Hanuman temples on the road towards Khamla that are major bottlenecks in the smooth flow of traffic. Due to both the temples, the width of road is reduced significantly leading to severe congestion in the area, particularly during office hours. Illegal markets thriving there makes matters worst for the passers-by while the civic officials and cops remained mute spectators.
The NIT razed Hanuman temple on Thursday itself after warning from the HC to complete formalities or face music. On other hand, the trustees of a temple in Mohan Nagar in Sadar devised a unique strategy to avoid demolition of a Ganesha temple. They removed the temple board and replaced it with NMC’s community centre board.
Deshpande also named a Ram Mandir and Buddha Vihar in Kamgar Colony slums alleging that both the structures are being constructed illegally. Another Sheetla Mata temple at Subhash Nagar is also on road and ongoing Metro rail work in the vicinity is creating traffic snarls on the ever-busy road. He further named a Gajanan temple near Vivekanand statue at Ambazari Flow Point, which he claimed to be illegal and still standing tall due to political backing. The letter further mentioned that those who illegally constructed such structures were reconstructing them at many places, after they were razed by the NMC and NIT, due to negligence of both agencies.