New Delhi: Taking a tough stand over encroachment by shopkeepers, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the MCD to remove all illegal constructions around Kalkaji Temple in the city.
The court also directed the civic agency to ensure cleanliness in the temple complex, especially during the ongoing Dusshera festival.
Police were also directed by the court to provide all assistance to the MCD for compliance of the court`s direction.
While hearing a PIL raising the issues of unhygienic condition in the temple premises and also security-related issues, a bench of Chief Justice RV Ramana and Justice Manmohan said, "Temple complex must be clean. Shopkeepers must ensure the way to temple is clear and clean."
"You challan every one. If needed a stringent action has to be taken against the encroacher," the court observed and directed the agency to "remove all unauthorised constructions by the next date of hearing."
The bench also directed the MCD`s sanitary department officials to visit the temple complex and ensure cleanliness.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Piyush Joshi, an advocate, raising issues of public safety and seeking directions to the Delhi Police for providing adequate security at the temple.
The petitioner`s counsel submitted that due to absence of any regulation, the management is allegedly involved in various irregularities.
To this submission, the court asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra to seek instruction from the Centre and inform it about the issue of temple management under the Endowments Act.
"Where is the government? From distribution of prasad to cleanliness of the temple has to be done by the court. There is no legislation," the court said.
The petitioner submitted that the prevailing condition in and around the temple was "deplorable" as there was a lack of proper hygiene and sanitation, mismanagement, lack of security, unauthorised occupation of dharamshalas within temple premises, lack of basic amenities etc.
It also said that "the conditions in the temple premises do not conform to any civic standard of sanitation, health and fire safety."
No security measures are in place at the temple to prevent untoward incidents, it said.
The PIL said, "Poor sanitation conditions at the temple are breeding ground for diseases. Absence of proper waste disposal system has made the temple premises unhygienic."
Citing unauthorised constructions in the temple premises, the plea sought directions for DDA and MCD to check and demolish illegal and unauthorised construction in and around the temple.