Gujarat Court reserves order on the petition to stop construction near the heritage building Pratap Vilas Palace

2021-02-27 15:36:40 Logistics News (Roadways & Railways)

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 petitioners

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 post-graduate students.

By Feb 26 involved parties to submit their written arguments

The 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.

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