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Allahabad HC asks UP govt to develop Bankey Bihari corridor

The court also made it clear that the state government will bear the expenses of the corridor.

"We are not in agreement with the argument of the state counsel that for construction of the corridor, the funds deposited in the bank belonging to the deity may be permitted to be utilised. This amount of Rs 262.50 crore lying in the bank, shall remain untouched particularly as we have not adjudicated the inter se rights of the State viz-a-viz the 'Sevayats' (Goswami Samaj) and the government is free to utilise its own money for the secular activity of facilitating public interests," the court observed.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinker Diwakar and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava passed the order while hearing a PIL petition filed by one Anant Sharma and another of Mathura after a stampede in the temple in August last year.

In the petition, a prayer had been made for proper crowd management, especially during festivals and holidays when lakhs of devotees congregate there.

The court fixed January 31, 2024, as the next date of hearing in the PIL. The order was made public on Monday.

After hearing parties concerned, the bench said, "State Government (is free) to proceed with the implementation of plans and scheme submitted to this court, which the court finds appropriate and necessary in the interest of justice. We leave it open for the state government to take whatever steps it deems appropriate, after consultation with the technical experts in the field, for implementing the scheme."

“State government, after implementation of the scheme, is expected to ensure that no further obstructions/encroachment be allowed to come up on the approach roads to the Temple," the court said.

On the issue of devotees facing problems during development of the corridor, the bench observed, "We make it clear that the Darshan of the devotees shall not be hampered in any manner, except for the implementation of the scheme, during which appropriate alternative arrangements shall be made. The present management along with all the stakeholders are directed to ensure that the Darshan of the devotees are not restricted in any manner and by anyone. The district authorities are also directed to ensure strict compliance of the above directions and any act of violation shall be reported to this Court."

Earlier, the state government had placed before the court the scheme regarding development of the temple area as corridor with purchase of around five-acre land around the temple to provide facilities to devotees.

As per the scheme, there would be no interference of any kind in "Puja", "Archana" or "Shringar" carried out by the Goswamis and whatever right they have will be continued to be enjoyed by them.

--IANS

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