Sant Ravidas Mandir demolition row: Kailash Gahlot says no proposal pending with Delhi govt, Centre to provide approval for 'non-forest' usage of land

  • Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot on Friday said that no pending proposal for use of the land upon which the Sant Ravidas temple once stoo

  • Gahlot explained that if the government receives any proposal for any non-forest use then after consideration it will forward the matter to the central government for acceptance.

  • He cited that the 800 acres of land fall under the Forest Protection Act, 1980 and will not be used for other purposes unless directed by the Centre

New Delhi: Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot on Friday said that no proposal for use of the land upon which the Sant Ravidas temple in the Tughlaqabad area once stood, is pending before Arvind Kejriwal-led government.

 Sant Ravidas Mandir demolition row: Kailash Gahlot says no proposal pending with Delhi govt, Centre to provide approval for non-forest usage of land

File image of Delhi Minister Kailash Gahlot. ANI

Shifting the responsibility on the Centre, Delhi environment minister Gahlot explained that if the government receives any proposal for any non-forest use then after consideration it will forward the matter to the central government for acceptance.

"Any proposal for diversion for non-forest purpose use coming to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will be forwarded to the Centre for final acceptance after consideration by the state government.

Currently, there is no such proposal pending before the state government," the statement issued by Gahlot reads.

Gahlot clarified that the Delhi government has no intention of leasing out the land to any private party for the planting of commercial crops or for any purpose other than replanting of the forest area.

The minister cited that the 800 acres of land fall under the Forest Protection Act, 1980 and hence will not be used for any other purpose unless directed by the Centre.

"Under Forest Conservation Act, 1980, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force in a state, no state Government or other authority shall make, except with the prior approval of the Central Government, any order directing that any forest land or any portion thereof may be used for any non-forest purpose," it added.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) razed the temple in Tughlaqabad village in New Delhi, in compliance with the Supreme Court's order, on 10 August.

Following the demolition, various political outfits and devotees took to the streets to register their protest. The protests also led to the arrest of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and 96 others.

On Monday, the Supreme Court warned against politicising the demolition of the temple. The top court also threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against those provoking 'dharnas' and demonstrations.

Updated Date: Aug 23, 2019 21:38:14 IST