Nagpur: Even as the dust is yet to settle over the large scale construction by Maha Metro on the embankment of Ambazari lake, yet another issue has cropped up. The Maha Metro has shown its unwillingness to maintain the heritage property Kasturchand Park a part of which it requires for construction of Nagpur Metro rail. The condition of maintaining the ground was put by the heritage conservation committee while giving okay to Maha Metro’s request for a slice of KP. Maha Metro has asked the state government to waive off the condition.
The district administration recently submitted a revised proposal to the government recommending KP’s land for Maha Metro. Along with the proposal is a Maha Metro letter seeking exemption from the condition of maintaining the ground.
Maha Metro’s Kasturchand Park station is to come up on part of NH7 skirting the KP and erstwhile Satkar guesthouse land between RBI square and LIC square. One of the approaches to the station is proposed from inside KP. The company in October 2015 had sought 2,538.28 sq.ft space inside KP from the district administration for the project.
The district administration asked Maha Metro to seek permission from heritage conservation committee as the ground was Grade-I heritage. First the committee was not in a mood to permit any dent on KP but later succumbed to pressure. Following allegations of social organizations including Citizens Parivartan Forum that Metro rail station would destroy the KP, the committee mandated that Maha Metro would beautify and maintain the entire ground.
The district administration accordingly submitted a proposal for 2,538.28 sq.ft space inside KP. Later the company increased its demand and sought 5,613.54 sq.ft land. It also informed the district administration about its inability to beautify and maintain KP.
A senior official from district administration said, “Only government has the powers to change the heritage committee’s decision. The government is positive on leasing KP’s space to Maha Metro,” the official said.
Activist Janardhan Moon said Maha Metro should not be given any space in KP. “We are fighting for KP’s development and conservation. To allow any construction in KP is unimaginable as it is meant for people’s recreation and play.
It is a heritage open space so even a single inch of it cannot be given for any construction activity,” he said.
A Maha Metro official said it was not possible for it to maintain entire KP. “We are ready to do everything in the space given to us. Maha Metro has actually sought heritage committee’s suggestions on maintaining the space given to it. Entire KP is huge and a lot of things are involved in maintaining it including law and order, events etc. We cannot take responsibility for all that happens there,” he said.