Agartala, February 12: In an attempt to stop any kind of vehicular access to iconic tourist spot in Tripura, Neermahal Palace, the High Court of Tripura on Tuesday asked the state government to breach the two kachcha roads, which were constructed along Rudrasagar Lake. Notably, Neermahal Palace – a palace surrounded by Rudrasagar lake, is a Ramsar site also.
HC on Neermahal Palace
During hearing on a PIL filed by the Court on its own motion, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Akil A Kureshi and Justice Arindam Lodh directed, “The state authorities shall immediately stop any access to vehicles to the palace site. For such purpose, the two kachcha roads which are constructed, shall be immediately breached by breaking down at least a portion of the roads so that no vehicles including bicycles can reach or even pedestrian can reach there on foot. This shall be completed within a period of two weeks”.
On perusal of two separate reports filed by Wetland Authority of Tripura and Amicus Curiae- Indrajit Chakraborty, respectively, the Court also instructed the state government to present a plan for restoring the original lake area up to a minimum of 240 hectors and also undertake a de-silting drive.
HC to State Government
“It is pointed out that there were brick kilns operating in the actual lake area which though has been closed down as per the orders of the Court, the area occupied by such brick kilns is not reclaimed. It is stated that brick kilns areas were found to be containing debris and waste covering a huge area of the lake. Small heaps of soil was also sighted. It is further stated that there are certain parts of the lake which are being cultivated through heavy machines causing serious damage to the site.
It is further stated that there are three tributaries providing water to the lake, only one of them is presently active. The other two have dried up but need to be cleaned before monsoon arrives so that natural flow of the water is not blocked by debris”, the Court order read.
Further, the Court asked the state government to clear the debris of the defunct brick kilns, piled up in and around the lake before onset of the next monsoon.
“From the point of view of archeological importance, from the point of view of tourism as well as ecological importance, such an important site cannot be allowed to fall in total decay on account of inaction on part of the authorities and at times taking steps which would actively damage it”, the Bench observed. The matter has been posted for hearing on March 02 next.