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The Superintendent, Government Garden, Department of Horticulture, Agra filed an affidavit in the Allahabad High Court recently providing a timeline for creating further facilities and repair and maintenance of the Paliwal Park at Agra.
The high court had directed the state government to file a comprehensive affidavit stating the plan in terms of which the 132-year-old Paliwal Park is to be developed and maintained.
The hearing in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a group of morning walkers "Good Morning Agra", is taking place before a division Bench of the Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padia.
The petitioners have alleged that the park is in totally dilapidated condition and has stray dogs and animals. On the last date of hearing they also placed photographs on record showing that wild grass is growing all around and certain pits are being used for garbage collection inside the park premises.
In response to the PIL, the State filed a counter affidavit in which the responsibility for different purposes was being put on different agencies, such as, Horticulture Department, Municipal Corporation, Nagar Nigam and Agra Development Authority.
It also came to light that in the counter affidavit filed by Agra Development Authority, the burden has been put on Municipal Corporation and Jal Nigam.
Taking note of such an attempt of dereliction of duty, the High Court, on May 5 had directed the Additional Advocate General to file a comprehensive affidavit stating the plan in terms of which the Park is to be developed and maintained.
Court had noted, "Considering the importance of the city, which is visited by lakhs of tourists including foreign tourists and the Park being situated in the heart of the City, in our opinion, the matter regarding its development and maintenance, has to be monitored by the State itself."
Court had accordingly held that it shall be the responsibility of the State to get the works executed by different Agencies whosoever may be responsible according to it. "Otherwise coordination between different departments may not be possible, as everyone may have been shirking its responsibility. Municipal Corporation has not even put in appearance in the present case," Court had noted.
The instant affidavit from the Department of Horticulture, Agra has come in pursuance of the same. The matter has been posted on July 6 for further hearing.
As per news reports, Paliwal Park was developed long back during the years 1886-90 and was known as the "Hewitt Park" during the British Rule. It was later renamed in memory of Krishna Datta Paliwal, who was the first finance minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Case Title: Good Morning Agra v. State of U.P. and others
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