Fate of Palace Grounds structures hinges on SC order: CM

Fate of Palace Grounds structures hinges on SC order: CM

Fate of Palace Grounds structures hinges on SC order: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the Assembly on Tuesday that the government would decide the fate of 22 structures that have come up on the Bangalore Palace grounds once the Supreme Court adjudicates the cases pertaining to the venue.

He was replying to questions from S R Vishwanath (BJP), who sought to know whether the government had given permission to put up permanent structures at the Palace Grounds and also use them for commercial purposes.

The chief minister, while claiming that no permission had been granted, said the Wadiyar family had moved the apex court against the decisions of the government. “The cases are still pending in court. Once the verdict comes, the government will decide which structures are permanent and which are illegal,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said the palace property vests with the State government since November 21, 1996. The legal heirs (Wadiyars) have questioned the government action in the Supreme Court.

As per the interim orders of the court dated September 14, 1998 and January 25, 2001, the government is according permission for conducting programmes at the grounds. A single-window agency consisting of eight officers meets fortnightly and reviews the applications of the legal heirs to conduct functions and accords permission.

The government issued new guidelines regarding programmes to be conducted at the grounds on December 21, 2012. However, putting up structures has not been allowed. The court has ordered status quo in the Palace Grounds case. The Bangalore North tahsildar, in his order on November 2, 2012, favoured demolition of unauthorised structures which have come up after April 30, 1997.

The legal heirs have filed many petitions before the court against this order. The Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district, as per the court order, has conducted spot inspection and submitted a report to the court regarding the unauthorised structures. The case is pending for adjudication. However, the chief minister did not give details of the DC’s report. Vishwanath argued that when road widening around the Palace Grounds is not allowed though it is very essential, 22 illegal buildings have been allowed to come up on the grounds.

Another BJP MLA C T Ravi said the Grounds should be considered deemed forest and unauthorised structures removed. Housing Minister Ambareesh, a native of Mysore, said there were no illegal buildings. “The Wadiyars have done so much for the poor,” he said.Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa suggested to the chief minister to take ‘hard decisions’ on the grounds issue. Siddaramaiah reacted positively.

Siddu noncommittal on book fair

The cancellation of the Bangalore Book Fair came up in the Assembly on Tuesday, but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah refrained from giving any assurance on the request to let the fair proceed for more than three days at the Palace Grounds.
 BJP MLA R Ashoka raised the matter, stating that the Department of Personnel and Administration (DPAR) had given just three days’ permission for the annual fair although the request was for 10 days. Finding this short period unviable, the organisers were forced to cancel the event. The chief minister reiterated that the permission was for three days, but did not respond to the demand for extending the duration. The 11th edition of the festival was originally scheduled to be held from November 29 to December 8.

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