HC seeks Hampi resettlement details

The High Court on Friday gave the State government five days time to inform the Court about the resettlement plans and other details chalked out for 27 shopkeepers and vendors situated around the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi.

In the protracted battle between the government and the vendors, Bhuvaneshwari and 26 others had approached the High Court challenging the government’s decision to rehabilitate them at a place situated 5 km outside the town. The vendors contended that the place chosen for resettlement was at Kaddiramapura and the 16 acres of land identified for rehabilitation was the site of several graves belonging to another community.

They added that they had been running the shops since 1964 and the government’s move threatened their livelihood. The petitioners also claimed that they did not reside within the actual area of the mantap. They said if their houses were to be moved, then it should be to Prakashnagar in Singanayakanahalli as it was closer to the temple.

The State in its objections had submitted that the 16 acres of land had four to five graves and the move was only to shift the houses. The government further submitted that they would construct permanent structures at the same place, issue licences and allow them conduct business during specific hours. They contended that the appeal by the vendors was frivolous.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna observed that distance was not a reason to object to the resettlement and the petitioners should not have a problem if the government was providing all the amenities.

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