Temple architecture

Delhi High Court orders DJB to inspect premises, status report requested

The Delhi High Court has ordered the Delhi Jal Board to inspect the Kalkaji temple premises as part of its maintenance and redevelopment project to ensure that they are kept clean.

Judge Pratibha M Singh called for a status report to be filed by the Delhi Jal Board after learning of a report which recorded grievances regarding the choking of sewer lines and the overflowing of the water supply in the premises.

“Accordingly, it is ordered that the DJB team be sent to inspect the premises and ensure that the choking, leaking and overflowing of water, if any, are dealt with and repaired promptly, so that the Mandir premises be That a status report be tabled by Mrs. Bharti on behalf of the DJB by the next date, “ the Court ordered.

The Court also heard of a report of 46 dharamshalas in the temple premises occupied by traders, invaders, trespassers, non-traders, Pujaris, tenants of Pujaris and sewaks of Pujaris.

The Court was of the opinion that the dharamshalas were in a dilapidated state and were clearly unsafe to occupy.

“The current situation cannot be allowed to continue because apart from the Pujaris claiming rights, there are several unauthorized occupiers and encroachments who also live with their families. The dharamshalas also need to be renovated as part of the overall redevelopment of the Kalkaji Mandir. For this purpose, current occupants of the dharamshalas including traders, encroachers/trespassers other than traders, pujaris, tenants of pujaris, as well as sewaks of pujaris should also vacate the said premises” said the Court.

Regarding the pujaris and their families occupying the dharamshalas, the Court said that they may appear before the administrator on February 7, 2022 to present their observations, after which the administrator may interact with them and draw up a list of all eligible pujaris, which could be considered for ward allocation in the overall redevelopment plan.

“Thereafter, in consultation with the ld. Architect, the ld. Administrator may make recommendations to this Court as to how the said pujaris and their families should be accommodated, if any, in the overall redevelopment plan“, added the Court.

The Court also ordered the relevant authorities including the DDA, SDMC and Delhi Police to carry out the removal and disposal of malba (debris) and to commence land leveling for the purpose of redevelopment of the premises of the temple.

The Court added that the said authorities will ensure that the land space is freely available for the architect to carry out a final study, before presenting the finalized redevelopment plan to the Court on February 15, 2022.

The Court also received a draft report from the Registry, tabulating the various amounts, which were deposited in the form of FDRs, sight drafts and checks with the district and civil courts where individual litigation cases are pending. According to the register, the total amount deposited was more than Rs. 6 crorestill now, except for those deposited in various suits.

“The worthy Registrar General of this Court will now receive a proper report from the branch concerned. He will obtain that all amounts deposited in the various proceedings concerning the Kalkaji Mandir in the District Courts be transferred to the aforementioned account of the Kalkaji Mandir Fund.” said the Court.

The Chamber also ordered the Administrator to also submit a report setting out accounts of expenses incurred in respect of the Kalkaji Mandir since the date of his appointment.

The case will now be heard on February 15.

Earlier, the Court ordered authorities including the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Police to ensure that its orders are implemented to root out all unlawful encroachments on the temple premises. of Kalkaji, on time.

Previously, the Court had given many directives regarding the administration and maintenance of the temple as well as for the resolution of disputes over bari rights between baridaars to ensure the smooth running of the temple.

He had expressed concerns about the “dismal” upkeep of the temple and also asked the local commissioner to verify the collections/donations made to the temple and to check if the CCTV cameras installed inside its premises are operational.

It was reiterated that reports submitted by previous receivers and the local commissioner showed that the cleanliness and maintenance of the temple complex was unsatisfactory.

The Court had requested a report on the establishment of stores as well as the basic civic amenities available to worshipers inside the temple premises. He ordered the court-appointed architect to submit a full report after a meeting with the administrator.

He had appointed a local commissioner to make surprise visits to the temple to check on the conduct of ‘puja sewa’, collection of offerings placed in donation boxes and also other matters regarding cleanliness, hygiene and facilities for the faithful.

Case Title: NEETA BHARDWAJ & ORS. against KAMLESH SHARMA

Click here to read the order