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Aga Khan Trust has done a commendable job to protect heritage of the country: Delhi High Court on efforts to mai 2023-05-17

Tuesday, 2023, May 16
Delhi high court, Sunder Nursery
Aamir Khan

Published on :
17 May, 2023, 8:25 am
2 min read
The Delhi High Court recently said that the Aga Khan Trust, by way of maintaining sixteenth century park complex Sunder Nursery, had done a “commendable job” for heritage protection in the country. [Binny Kalra v. Union of India & Ors].

Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Subramonium Prasad further said,

“The affidavits filed in the matter reveal that the Respondent Trust has, in fact, done a commendable job in order to protect the heritage of this country. Illegal construction and encroachments have been removed; the park is being maintained – as already stated earlier; and an Award of Excellence has been conferred by UNESCO on the Trust for Cultural Heritage Conservation and Special Recognition for Sustainable Development."

The Court made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) which objected to the entry of vehicles and called for preservation of flora and fauna inside the biodiversity park, adjacent to Humayun's Tomb.

The petitioner had sought directions to the Trust to prohibit vehicular movement and parking within a 100 metre radius of the Archaeological Survey of India protected monuments; ban entry of vehicles on the interior pathways of the nursery; and explore eco- friendly alternatives such as commercial battery-operated vehicles for pick up and drop off at designated spots for those needing assistance and suitable carriers for plants.

The Trust, which looks after the maintenance and preservation of Sunder Nursery and the monuments inside it, said the park was spread across 90 acres and significant changes had taken place in the landscape in the last decade or so.

The High Court noted that among the many changes, the park saw over 10,000 trees of different species being planted; creation of a butterfly zone; construction of ground water recharge facility; removal of illegal encroachments and discovery and restoration of five Mughal Era wells.

The Trust responded with elaborate details on the parking slots inside the park, indicating to the Court that “sufficient parking is available in and around Sunder Nursery”.

Satisfied with the response of the Trust and other respondents, the Court said that no further orders were required to be passed in the PIL.

“However, the MCD as well as the Delhi police will take appropriate steps in respect of parking on roads, if any, on holidays to avoid congestion on public roads,” the order stated.

The petitioner was represented by Advocates Aman Bhalla, Aastha Dhawan, Aditya Sharma and Aman Tehlan.

The Central government was represented by Standing Counsel Rakesh Kumar and Advocate Sunil.

Advocates Rishikesh Kumar, Sheenu Priya, Sudhir Kumar Shukla, Muhammad Zaid, Roshni Haldhar and Sudhir appeared for the Delhi government.

Advocates Jayant Tripathi and Nayantara Roy appeared for Aga Khan Trust.

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