HC stays work on municipal market near heritage structure in Moodbidri

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday stayed the work on reconstruction of the municipality’s market building in Moodbidri town, Dakshina Kannada district, as the market building prima facie comes within the regulated zone of Chowtara Aramane — a protected monument.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice H.T. Narendra Prasad passed the interim order while also directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey, to find out whether the market building comes within 200 metres of the regulated zone around the monument, by notifying the chief officer of Moodbidri town municipal.

While the municipality claimed that the market building is situated around 280 metres from the monument and hence permission from the ASI for carrying out construction is not necessary as per provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the ASI claimed that its survey showed that market building is at a distance of 190 metres from the boundary of the monument.

In his petition filed in 2017, Jaison Marshall Soares, a resident of Punchmogaru village in Dakshina Kannada district, had alleged that the municipality had drawn up the plan for reconstructing the market building sans obtaining permission from ASI.

The Bench adjourned further hearing till July 16, while directing the ASI to conduct a survey within four weeks and submit report to the court.

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