Resolve Hampi issue in a week: HC

Making a submission, the State government said 314 people had been driven out for encroachment in and around the Virupaksha Temple, but around 70 of them were not eligible for rehabilitation, as the shops they had put up were illegal.

A tug of war between ASI and the State government surfaced as the ASI claimed no proposal had been submitted to them by the State on the money required for rehabilitation, while the State claimed it had given the report to the ASI some time back and had not received any reply.

A Division Bench headed by the acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna sought to know the difficulties faced by the Central government in granting Rs 9 crore for the rehabilitation.

 Earlier, the Bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had expressed unhappiness over the delay in releasing Rs 18.5 crore meant for rehabilitation of the displaced, when the State was spending huge amounts for the annual festival.

Around 236 mantapas on ‘ratha beedhi’ (car street) in front of the Virupaksha temple had been encroached upon and 80 per cent of the people had obtained khatas in their name.

Unesco, which had included a 41 sq-km area in Hampi and its surroundings in the World Heritage list, had recommended that encroachments and unauthorised buildings in the area be cleared. Failing which, the heritage status would be withdrawn, Unesco had said 12 years ago.

The HC had also ordered that the encroachments be cleared.

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