The move by the Gujarat government to expand the heritage building Pratap
Vilas Palace in Vadodara and extend to sarounding areas to house the
Presitigious India's first Rail University was resisted by heritage activists
by filing a public interest petition against the state sponsered project.
Arguments in the case concluded and the division bench of Gujarat high court
has reserved its orders.
Arguing that the palace “is not a public property as is understood in
common parlance”, and is in fact a “Government of India property”, the state
advocate general Kamal Trivedi continued opposing the plea. Mr Trivedi was
representing the government of India.
Arguments concluded; the bench reserves order
He submitted that the alternate plot of land at Waghodia where part of the
proposed Rail University is expected to be housed, “is like a dream” with no
finality on the acquisition of the land. Arguments were concluded on Tuesday
and the division bench has reserved judgment.
PIL moved by eight
The PIL moved by eight petitioners, including the Vadodara-based Heritage
Trust, submitted that the 106-year-old Pratap Vilas Palace, recognised as an
ancient monument, which is housing the Railway Staff College since 1952, can
maintain status quo instead of constructing a new building overlooking the
palace that could ruin its heritage value.
It was also proposed that instead of constructing a new building, the
entire Rail varsity can be situated at Waghodia where technicalities regarding
the land remain to be resolved, thus making this proposition unviable. He also
submitted that the land at Waghodia, if indeed finalised, would be meant for
undergraduate students and another building will still be required for
By Feb 26 involved
parties to submit their written arguments
involved parties are expected to submit their written arguments by February 26,
following which the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath is
expected to pronounce its verdict.