Parking cannot be allowed at Madhav Park: ASI to High Court
The court has been passing directions at regular intervals in the matter with focus on parking, de-congestion and plying of e-rickshaws.Updated: Mar 20, 2019, 05:05 IST
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has informed the Delhi high court that no parking, “temporary or otherwise”, can be permitted on any part of Madhav Das Park in the walled city as per UNESCO guidelines. A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice I S Mehta, was, however, told that a parking space for 60 cars could be made in the buffer zone of the Red Fort complex as there is no prohibition in the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
The submissions were made when the court was hearing pending pleas pertaining to redevelopment of Chandni Chowk by NGO Manushi Sangathan. The court has been passing directions at regular intervals in the matter with focus on parking, de-congestion and plying of e-rickshaws.
Madhav Das Park, adjacent to Red Fort — a UNESCO-protected monument — was the proposed temporary site for parking during the redevelopment of Chandni Chowk. Last December, the Delhi government started redevelopment work at Chandni Chowk on the basis of a Delhi high court order. The work is being carried out by the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation.
One of the major concerns in the redevelopment work was parking spaces, as the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has planned to construct two multilevel parkings — at Gandhi Maidan, work for which is ongoing and Dangal Maidan, where work is likely to start soon. Till recently, the surface parking lots were accommodating 1,000 cars.
Following ASI’s submission, the court said, “…..the court is of the view that this issue should be dealt with by the Delhi traffic police in consultation with the ASI. The court is unable to find any easy solution at this stage for the problem.”
“It (ASI) has, however, mentioned that whilst the buffer zone is more or less the same as the ‘prohibited area’ prescribed under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, there is no prohibition in the said Act for using the buffer zone for parking,” the court noted in its order.
“It will open to the Delhi traffic police to come up with what could be possible solution for the problem, and, if required, persuade the ASI for making space available. It is clarified that no order of this court will come in the way of the Delhi traffic police taking a view on this issue,” the bench said adding that the ASI is also free to take a decision, keeping in view the ground realities.
The court directed the Delhi Urban Art Commission to conduct a meeting in the next two weeks where inputs of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Delhi Development Authority, the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal and the petitioners would be taken. The bench said DUAC would take fresh decisions with regards to the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment project and the Gandhi Maidan multilevel car parking project.
Sanjay Bhargava, president of the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, said, “The Madhav park was being taken up for temporary parking, as the two existing parking lots are being reconstructed. The main park outside Red Fort is anyway given on rent for various functions. This was a stopgap arrangement and would have helped in the project.”