Hundreds of Indore residents gathered at Pipliyahana Lake on Sunday morning to protest against the government decision to construct the district court complex on the basin of the water body.
The protesters, led by local Congress legislator Jitu Patwari, locked down the office of Dilip Buildcon – a construction firm that has been awarded the contract to build the new court complex– and damaged a few vehicles during the protest.
Patwari accused the BJP-led state government of manipulating land revenue records to make way for the construction of a modern court complex with an investment of more than Rs 625 crore.
He alleged the chief minister has close links with Dilip Buildcon, the company that has been awarded the contract for the project. “The proposal of constructing the court complex on the land was turned down by the housing and environment department in 2011, but in 2015, the department cleared the project,” he said.
A petition was moved before the NGT by a city-based activist, but the petition was disposed of in favour of the state government with the tribunal ruling that the proposed area was “a reservoir-like structure” and not part of the water body.
“Even before the NGT disposed of the case in the state’s favour on March 18, the government awarded the contract to Dilip Buildcon Limited. On the same day, a tender was awarded to the firm, which indicates ‘unholy nexus’ between the NGT and the state government,” alleged Patwari.
The Indore district bar association too has opposed the government’s decision.
Surendra Verma, president of the association said, “The contract has been awarded with ill intentions. The existing court complex near Gandhi Hall can be elevated to a modern complex at one-sixth of the investment they are making at Pipliyahana Lake.”