Legal Correspondent

To desist from development activity in vicinity of Golconda fort

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) on Tuesday informed the High Court that it would not take up further development activity in the prohibited areas of Golconda fort, at least for two weeks. Its advocate undertook to file a counter affidavit in response to a writ petition filed complaining that illegal development activity was taking place in violation of rules.

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice T. Meena Kumari and Justice Ramesh Ranganathan was hearing the writ petition filed alleging that the HGA had taken up excavation and levelling works in Nayaquilla area of Golconda fort. The writ petition was filed by Rasheed Mohammad representing PUCAAR and Sangamitra Malik on behalf of Forum for Better Hyderabad.

Police complaint

The petitioners pointed out that the moat outside the wall was being filled and that officers of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had been requesting the HGA to stop the works.

They said that though there was a police complaint filed by the ASI in September with the Golconda police station there has been no let-up in the activity. They complained that graves were being dug and the mounds were being levelled inside the fort.

The court was informed about the Ancient Monuments Act and rules which prohibit such activity in the notified area. Various news stories published were placed before the Bench.

The Bench said that there was a need to protect the monument and wanted the officials concerned, including the Collector, to file counter affidavits. At this juncture the counsel for petitioners insisted on interim orders to stop the works. The advocate appearing for the HGA said that no further works would be taken up after which the case was adjourned by two weeks.