Taking up a public interest litigation filed by Freedom Fighters Successors Organisation, Karnal, seeking restoration of ancient monument Victoria Memorial Hall in Karnal, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the state government to start its restoration work within three months.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on Wednesday.
The petitioner organisation had informed the court that Victoria Memorial Hall, which was constructed in 1901 to perpetuate the memory of Queen Victoria and now known as Gandhi Memorial Hall should be handed over to the department of archaeology and ancient remains for preservation, repair and refurbishing as the condition of the memorial hall is deteriorating at a very fast pace.
The court was informed that the hall is located in a busy Committee Chowk area and the grass around the building speaks of the neglect of the building and the district administration is keen to demolish the building and constructing a shopping mall in its place.
The hall is a unique combination of three architectural features - Indian, Islamic and European; and can serve as a cultural resource centre.
As the building is deteriorating day-by-day, the important artifacts are being removed for preservation by various museums, the petitioner said, adding the place around the memorial hall had been encroached from all sides.