Millennium Post

No demolition of buildings at Pragati Maidan till HCC meets: HC

Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the authorities not to demolish buildings at Pragati Maidan till the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) decided whether these structures are to be preserved under the category of 'modern heritage'.

"HCC is meeting on February 2. Let it decide whether buildings at Pragati Maidan are to be put in the heritage list or not. If it finds that the buildings there cannot be declared heritage, then it's end of the matter. The petition seeking its protection will be decided on merits," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has proposed to demolish Pragati Maidan to set up a world-class exhibition centre.

The court said the HCC at its meeting is likely to take up lists for consideration of buildings to be put under 'modern heritage' category, "so we should wait for outcome of the committee." It fixed the matter for hearing on February 6.

HCC is a committee set up for protection of heritage buildings, precincts and natural features in Delhi.

The court was hearing a plea by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) seeking protection of 62 buildings, including Hall of Nations and Nehru Pavilion in Pragati Maidan, which it has identified as modern heritage.

INTACH, in its plea, has alleged "complete abdication" of responsibility by HCC and Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) to protect the city's "contemporary architectural heritage".
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