A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking to restrain the authorities from erecting the Tamil Nadu Assembly’s Diamond Jubilee Memorial Arch on Rajaji Salai. The petitioner has said no arches should be put up on Rajaji Salai and Kamarajar Salai.

In the petition, M.S. Arasa Kumar, an advocate of Kodambakkam, cited newspaper reports and a press release of October 29 about the proposed construction of a memorial arch between Fort St. George and War Memorial.

He said this was in violation of the Tamil Nadu Highways Act. Rajaji Road was the only one in the city free of heavy traffic .

It was used by all VVIPs, including High Court Judges, and top bureaucrats The ongoing Metro Rail works had already slowed down movement of vehicles on main roads. putting the public to great hardship. But ignoring these, the government had taken a decision to put up the arch, the foundation stone for which was laid on October 29. In these circumstances, the court’s interference was warranted in public interest as taxpayers’ money would be spent on the construction when certain basic needs, more particularly electricity, had to be met.

When the matter came up before a Division Bench, comprising Justices R. Banumathi and K.K. Sasidharan, the Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan, took notice.

He said he would file a response to the petition, including its maintainability. Following this, the Bench adjourned the matter to December 6.

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