Acting on a petition to protect and preserve heritage buildings constructed during the reign of the Maharaja of Patiala, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the alleged demolition.The direction by the Bench of Justice SS Saron and Justice Gurmit Ram came after Subhash Kapoor and eight other residents of Patiala’s Yadvindra Colony moved the High Court alleging that the action of declaring the area commercial and residential was solely to collect funds before transferring the same to the Punjab government to cover “deficit funds and financial difficulty faced by it”.The petitioners had asserted that the area ordered to be auctioned consisted of 34 residential plots and 18 commercial units. It was adjacent to their houses located in lush green area of Baradari Gardens and adjoining government plants nursery, The Mall, Patiala.The land and building area ordered to be auctioned as commercial and residential plots was spread over 8.93 acres and included two buildings, one of which was public health department building. It was declared heritage building by the Punjab government on April 16 for being handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India for its maintenance and development.The tender for the building’s demolition had already been floated. They added that the respondent-authorities had ordered auction of heritage buildings and the green area, thereby destroying the city’s old architecture by demolishing the buildings and “causing harm to nature by cutting green trees more than 100-year old”.The petitioners claimed that the land and building ordered to be auctioned for construction of shops-cum-offices and residential plots would destroy the green belt and damage the buildings with heritage importance.
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