The Allahabad High Court has barred the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) from taking any step towards its plan to construct an under-ground parking lot for 650 vehicles at the historical Phool Bagh Park in the city.
It has also sought a counter-affidavit from the vice-chairperson of KDA on how it passed and proceeded with a resolution of creating a multi-level basement parking, when a division bench of the high court had already rejected the proposal through its order passed on September 12, 2014.
Earlier, the KDA had proposed a shopping complex-cum-multi-level car-parking in a portion of the Phool Bagh Park, even as the master plan maintained that it was ear-marked as park only.
The court had, however, rejected the proposal saying that construction of the parking was in no way a facility related to the park and the public authorities could not usurp a breathable place in the middle of a congested area of the city.
The court had also said that the plan was misconceived, as it had not factored in the congestion that would be generated by the shopping complex in the area.
A division bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Yashwant Varma passed the order on July 29, while hearing a PIL filed by Sandeep Pandey and another person, seeking quashing of the proposal. The court has fixed August 24 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
The court said: “Despite previous judgement and order of this court, the KDA has now passed a resolution for the construction of an underground facility for parking of 650 vehicles. An area reserved in the master plan as park must be used as a park and a terrace garden above an underground shopping complex is no substitute for a park as held by the Supreme Court…Prima facie, there is a breach of the directions issued by this court”
The court also directed that “no steps whatsoever shall be taken in furtherance of” KDA’s resolution and the use of the “land as a park and for recreational amenities shall not be disturbed in any manner whatsoever”.
The park has been witness to historic speeches from leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A major portion of its area is used by political parties to hold rallies.