SHC directs steps to protect old temple at Clifton

September 15, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) wants relevant authorities to take immediate measures to protect the structure of 150-year-old Sheeri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Clifton from damages that might result from construction of a flyover near Abdullah Shah Gazi shrine.

Member provincial assembly Mukesh Kumar Chawla and All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat’s secretary general have approached the court seeking its directives to provincial authorities for safeguarding the historic building.

Counsel for petitioners submitted that Bahria Town has undertaken a project from the Park Tower traffic intersection to the AT Naqvi Roundabout, which included the construction of a flyover in front of Park Towers in Clifton, besides two underpasses near Kothari Parade.

He said that there existed unrest among the Hindu community that the project has posed a serious threat to the foundation of 150-year-old Sheeri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple. “Historical temple which was a national heritage was put in danger by commencement of the project.”

Counsel submitted that as a result of excavation near the temple site, 40-feet-deep ditch was left open, which might cause collapse of old structure in case of rain which is expected next month.

He said that retaining walls are required to be built in order to protect the temple from damage. He apprehended that if urgent repairs were not carried out, walls of temple might collapse putting in peril the building, lives of worshipers who visit the temple, besides the Hindu idols and symbols present in the temple.

After conducting initial hearing on petition, two-judge bench directed provincial authorities to ensure full and effective safety and security of the subject structures and also ensure that all measures are employed to safeguard the entire structures under the supervision of a qualified and reputed civil engineer.

It further directed that in case such measures consume some time, temporary measure including retaining walls be taken immediately.

The adjourned the hearing of case till September 23 when counsel for Housing, Town planning and environment, KMC and Sepa would file their respective comments in the petition.

It is pertinent to mention here that construction work on the project involving a flyover and two underpasses had been stopped following the court order issued by a single bench of SHC on the lawsuit filed by Defence Housing Authority (DHA) against the construction for not having Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project.

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