Under threat: SHC directs KMC to submit report on Hindu temple


The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) authorities to submit a report on the progress on efforts to protect and preserve a 150-year-old Hindu temple in Clifton, which has been declared a protected heritage site.
Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, who headed the bench, passed these directives on a petition filed by the All Pakistan Hindu Pachayat’s secretary-general, Ravi Dawani, which had sought directives for the provincial authorities to protect the historic building from damage caused by the ongoing construction of a flyover and underpasses in Clifton.
The petitioner said there is unrest among the Hindu community about the construction that poses serious threats to the foundation of the 150-year-old Sheeri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple. “The historical temple, which was a national heritage site, has been endangered by the commencement of the project,” alleged the petitioner.
On Tuesday, Syed Sultan Ahmed, the KMC’s legal adviser, said that the corporation is fully aware of the importance of the temple and is sensitive towards the protection and preservation of heritage sites within its jurisdiction.
The KMC is rather anxious to implement all lawful means to prevent and avoid damage to the subject site, as a consequence of digging carried out in its close proximity, he said. It would implement the court’s order in letter and spirit, fully and effectively through the executors of the project.
Advocate Khalid Javed Khan, who appeared for the private builder, said his client is executing ‘Grade Separated Traffic Management Plan’ from the Park Towers to the AT Naqvi Roundabout for the welfare of the people. He said that he would file an application to include his client as party in the ongoing proceedings before the next date of hearing.
Both the lawyers assured to implement the order of September 6 under the supervision of an independent monitoring consultant. Both the lawyers assured that the above exercise would remain strictly confined to the protection and preservation of the site and would not violate any order of the court, which may be passed in proceedings related to the ‘Grade Separated Traffic Management Plan’ initiated through another constitutional petition. Khalid Javed Khan further assured, on behalf of the private builder, that the work would commence within the shortest possible time, not later than two days from today (Tuesday).
In view of the undertakings, the bench adjourned the hearing till October 3.

Source: Tribune